Iain Sinclair: 70 x 70 – John Smith Screening + Q and A
22 Oct 2013

A specially curated screening by Iain Sinclair.

Tues 22 Oct, 7 - 9.15pm
The White Building
Unit 7 Queen's Yard, White Post Lane, E9 5EN

Iain Sinclair was in conversation with filmmaker John Smith after the screening.

London psycho-geographical writer Iain Sinclair celebrated his 70th birthday year with the showing of 70 films he handpicked that relate to his work. The White Building was delighted to present a special screening with renowned filmmaker John Smith, followed by a Q and A with the artist.

Hackney Marshes, 1978. Dir. John Smith.
A documentary commissioned by Thames Television for the series Take Six. Smith says: ‘Shown at 6 o’clock in the evening – how things have changed!’ John Wyver wrote the review in Time Out. ‘The dual subjects are the inhabitants of tower blocks in Hackney and the components and conventions of filmmaking. Interviews with the former are cut against a limited sequence of compositions, which illustrate and question the soundtrack in a number of distinct ways… Its success demonstrates the necessity for many TV film- makers to begin to rethink their safe approaches and accepted techniques.’

Girl Chewing Gum, 1976. Dir. John Smith. Now in a re-interrogated version.
This John Smith film, locked to its significant corner, alongside a now vanished cinema, is a classic of place. This place: a tributary of Kingsland Road within hawking distance of Dalston Junction. All human life was there. Smith, giving narrative voice to the action, anticipates Patrick Keiller’s transit through the same territory in London (1994). Keiller is informed, ironic. Smith is ludic, absurd – on a track that leads to the exuberance of Andrew Kötting. The new interrogation, from the same position, is a well-judged conceit. Past and present dig elbows. Dalston is honoured. Structuralist modes don’t have to be austere.