Friday 30 December 2011

'Under the Cranes' - showing at the Renoir

'Under the Cranes' is a film that Emma-Louise Williams made based on a 'play for voices' that I wrote about the people of Hackney and the plans made for them rather than with them. It's been shown at various places like the East End Film Festival, Hackney Film Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Appledore Book Festival and other venues. It's now getting on at the Renoir in London on January 8th - see below for details.

It has its own blogspot:

The London Socialist Film Co-op are putting it on.
Here's their blogspot:

Here's what people have said about 'Under the Cranes':

“ Engaging, gentle, dreamlike – Williams’ Hackney is a layered, shifting place teeming with multiple voices and realities, echoed verbally by Rosen’s collage of reminiscence, characteristically generous poetry and collected urban folksongs.  Rosen’s presence reminds us of east London’s reputation as a place of political upheaval.”
Sight and Sound

“ A marvellous evocation of Hackney – the place, the peoples and their dreams too. It reveals the ruin, disconnection and the frailty of life without giving an inch to literary misanthropy or the voyeuristic perspectives in which east London is exploited for tales of misery, depravity and social failure. “

Patrick Wright, cultural historian

“ This beautifully constructed film urges us to recognise what is already there, at the heart of a diverse and thriving community, while raising the question that perhaps we are all living in the shadow of the cranes. “

Socialist Review

“ A wonderfully life-affirming film-poem of place full of lost time and effacements,  reefs of street-markets and shop fronts, painted in stock-brick yellows, steel shutter greys and silvery monochromes; and full of people, always people, the voices who have passed this way and called this home. As a collage of the city at its most quick, it has the ache and tug of what has been and gone; as a moving study of resourcefulness, resistance and resilience, it collapses time and returns each story to its street. “

Paul Farley, poet

“ For questionable reasons, in the media, the sight in a market of African textile prints and the sound of a Cockney voice selling tomatoes are separated. It’s untruthful. But the truth is there on Ridley Road Market and it is shot through the film too. And I loved it. This film is a rare thing. “

Lemn Sissay, poet

Under the Cranes is an argument to your emotions. Old grainy archive footage seems to invest even the most mundane scenes with a bitter-sweet glow. When these images are paired with sparse piano or traditional Turkish music – and beatboxing and Toumani  Diabeté – you’ve got a guaranteed tearjerker. But this film is not about nostalgia. The film finds beauty in trash-collecting, and places modern scenes next to old. “

Quietus Review

 “ A film-poem that mixes documentary footage and poetry to explore the effect of urban redevelopment on local people.  The film weaves together the history of one small part of London in a wonderfully impressionistic way. “

Socialist Worker


Sunday 8 January 2012 at The Renoir Cinema 


The Renoir Cinema, Brunswick Square, London WC1

Nearest London tube: Russell Square
Overground: King’s Cross, Euston
Buses: 7, 17, 45, 46, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188
For updates on disabled access, please call the Renoir on 08717-033 991