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London - The Modern Babylon (2012)

 -  Documentary | Music  -  3 August 2012 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 297 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 3 user | 14 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

London: The Modern Babylon is legendary director Julien Temple's (Joe Strummer - The Future is Unwritten) epic time-traveling voyage to the heart of his hometown.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Quotations reader (voice)
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Quotations reader (voice)
Steve Jones ...
Quotations reader (voice)
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Quotations reader (voice)
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Quotations reader (voice)
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Quotations reader (voice)
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Quotations reader (voice)
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Quotations reader (voice)
Hetty Bower ...
Herself, 106 years
Charlotte Marsh ...
Herself - Interviewee (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Barbara Cartland ...
Herself - Interviewee (archive footage)
Tony Benn ...
Himself - Interviewee
Brian Nicholson ...
Himself, dockers union man, quotations reader
Lil Snoddy ...
Herself - Interviewee
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Storyline

London: The Modern Babylon is legendary director Julien Temple's (Joe Strummer - The Future is Unwritten) epic time-traveling voyage to the heart of his hometown.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Release Date:

3 August 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

London: The Modern Babylon  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

A very young and pre-fame David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) appears in the David Bowie/Jones sequence for the Society of Prevention to Cruelty to Men with Long Hair. See more »

Connections

Features Pool of London (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Hong Kong Garden
Written by Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin,
John McKay & Kenny Morris
Performed by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Courtesy of Polydor Ltd. (UK)
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
London
16 September 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful, kaleidoscopic and quirky portrait of the city of which one can never tire. The past 100 years are presented in roughly chronological order, but with ample allusions that tie contemporary events to those of the past. The message is clear: London is not its monuments, its parks or even its history, but rather its people. And what a diverse, determined and fascinating people they are.

Temple does a masterful job in putting the widest possible range of London on display: from the race riots that have permeated the city's modern history to the jazz and gay clubs of Soho, from the dockyard workers to the City bankers, from Brixton to Mayfair. In the two hours that sweep by so quickly, you feel like you have yourself lived through a century of what, you become convinced, is the world's most remarkable and resilient metropolis.

The editing of the film, both visually and musically, is brilliant, with connections and juxtapositions made boldly and, just as often, subtly. The technique of using London's extensive closed circuit camera system as a unifying device is both effective and subversive: you frequently feel like you are a voyeur, intruding on some of the most personal moments while being propelled unrelentingly forward.

I saw several films at TIFF this year, many with a lot more buzz, but in the end this is the one that will stay with me the longest and the one that I really look forward to seeing again.


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