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Hackney Marshes (TV Version)

John Smith
1978
30mins Colour 16mm to video
Commissioned by Thames Television

Hackney Marshes (TV Version)

"Explicitly challenging all the accepted forms of the TV documentary, John Smith's important film is extraordinary as the product of a major institution. The dual subjects are the inhabitants of tower blocks in Hackney and the components and conventions of film-making. Interviews with the former are cut against a limited sequence of compositions which illustrate and question the soundtrack in a number of distinct ways. Repetition, sharp editing, unlikely images (chalk lines, lift doors closing) and the deliberate reversal of normal devices all work to disorientate the viewer and to force a reconsideration of his or her relationship to the film... The overall result is, perhaps surprisingly, given the theoretical concerns, a strangely intimate picture of the subjects. Importantly, its success demonstrates the necessity for many TV film-makers to re-think their safe approaches and accepted techniques." John Wyver, "Time Out" magazine, 1978.

Commissioned by Thames Television.

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