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Film Locations
Nicky Hamlyn
Film Locations
William Raban's Sundial (1992), shot in the same location as his film Island Race, combines strongly formal procedures with an equally emphatic political message, which is conveyed through careful juxtaposition of objects in the field of view.

The camera moves in a clockwise direction, from dawn to dusk, around the Canary Wharf Tower, which stands at the centre of the redeveloped Isle of Dogs in east London. In the majority of shots, the tower is seen from afar, framed by the older buildings that form a blighted belt around the fringe of the island. These buildings stand in stark contrast to the slick glass tower, and are a reminder of the island's previous existence as a thriving port, and as the continuing location of council housing, schools and vestigial industries.

In framing these contrasting aspects within the same point of view, the film brings the neglected older community into direct and uneasy conjunction with the newly developed office complexes, juxtaposing rich and poor, highlighting the increasing gap between them. All this is achieved without a single word of commentary.

Still from Sundial by William Raban, 1992
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