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O Dreamland (1953)

 -  Documentary | Short | Comedy
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 326 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 5 critic

Documentary on a famous amusement park, showing the irony of its manufactured fun.

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Documentary on a famous amusement park, showing the irony of its manufactured fun.

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More than a nostalgia piece
15 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

Lindsay Anderson's 11 minute documentary on Margate's amusement park captures the vast emptiness of postwar life in, yes, Britain, but also elsewhere throughout the Western world. The cheap venues for entertainment leave the park's patrons lifeless. Lots of gaudy, cheap spectacle proliferates but the visitors walk around like zombies. Even the mannequins at some exhibits possess more "life" than do real people.

Anderson's film is an indictment of modern culture. It's also an angry indictment of a supine population of English working people, willing to accept such a mediocre form of existence. But ultimately the movie generates a feeling of sadness for those same people. Their sense of community has been torn asunder and in its place the modern world only offers anonymity, glitz, lights, loud sounds, and badly made fast food.

As strong a statement today as when it was made in the early 1950s.


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