Vā€™18: OCTOBER 25 ā€“ NOVEMBER 8, 2018

THAMES FILM

V' 07

THAMES FILM

William Raban
GB, 1986
66min,

THAMES FILM

William Raban
GB, 1986
, 66min,

Production: 
Bow Visions
World Sales: 
Distribution in Austria: 
?/Farbe

Raban's reflective, ambivalent approach to cinematic Modernism reaches its apogee in <![CDATA[<i>]]>Thames Film<![CDATA[</i>]]> (1986). Narrated by john Hurt, it is the closest Raban comes to a conventional documentary, incorporating archive film from 1921-1951, panoramic photographs taken in 1937. Brueghel the Elder's painting the Triumph of Death and T.S.Eliot reading Four Quartets. Raban centres a study of the sites of modernity, and the meanings that time has inscribed into them, on the Thames, juxtaposing shots of the river in 1986 with readings from Thomas Pennant's Journey from London to Dover (1787, close to the emblematic date of 'modernity', 1789). Modernity is put on trial: Pennant's links between British imperialism, technological advances and the Thames are juxtaposed with derelict British imperialism, technological advances and pompous voiceovers from post-war newsreels anticipating the collapse not just of the Empire but also the ideals which supported it. (Gareth Buckell)

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