Logo Free Spirits Film

Columns / London on Film

by Jaap Mees

A new mini film festival, called London on Film, was held from 27-29 September in Walthamstow (London E17) and surroundings. Organised by the McGuffin Film & TV Society. It opened with Michael Winterbottom's film Wonderland and closed with Patrick Keiller's new film Dilapidated Dwelling, with narration from Tilda Swinton. Keiller is known for his deliciously off-beat and philosophical London (93). I showed three of my short Free Spirits films and one of the organisers, Lorna, said afterwards: 'you obviously have affection and respect for your subjects, which comes through quite vividly.'

That was nice to hear, I think it is very important to give your films some warmth and humanity, so other people can relate to it. Another film screened, which has plenty of human warmth and wit is an old Ealing Classic: Passport to Pimlico, a group of South-Londoners, including a rebellious Bobby, set up their own free state of Burgundy in the middle of London. One of the high-lights of Mc Guffin's was Everyday Except Christmas (57), a poetic black and white documentary by Lindsay Anderson, about the porters in the fruit and flower market in Covent Garden. Made with care and visual flair in a genuine observing Free Cinema style.

Jaap Mees' column appears monthly in the New Producer, the magazine of the New Producers Alliance.