Robinson in Space (1997) - News Poster

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Landscape Cinema Starter Kit

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I’ve been making 16mm durational urban landscape voiceover films, slowly but surely, since the late ‘90s. My short film Blue Diary premiered at the Berlinale in 1998. My two features, The Joy of Life (2005) and The Royal Road (2015) both premiered in the prestigious New Frontiers section at the Sundance Film Festival and have been as wildly successful as experimental films can be. Which is to say, they remain fairly obscure. My small but enthusiastic fan-base frequently asks me for recommendations of films that are similar to my own in terms of incorporating durational landscapes and voiceover and a meditative pace. While it is certainly one of the smallest subgenres in the realm of filmmaking, here are a handful of excellent landscape cinema examples by the practitioners I know best. I confess that my expertise here is limited and hope that the learned Mubi community will chime in with additions in the comments field below.
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In a Year of 26 Festivals

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Something of his sad freedom

As he rode the tumbril

Should come to me, driving,

Saying the names

Tollund, Grauballe, Nebelgard,

Watching the pointing hands

Of country people,

Not knowing their tongue.

Out here in Jutland

In the old man-killing parishes

I will feel lost,

Unhappy and at home.

Seamus Heaney, The Tollund Man

It ended, like all journeys do, in Solitude, a long way from any cinema. Solitude—or rather Zolitūde, in Latvian—is a suburb of Riga, four miles as the crow flies from the fancy Scandi-Gothic-Art Nouveau city centre; six miles on foot if the pedestrian avoids diversions. But by the time I reached Solitude on that cold December Saturday afternoon, however, my inadvertent divagations must have pushed the total to the ten-mile mark. I'd looked at maps prior to departing from my hotel, of course but deliberately didn't bring one along (not a fan); I don't
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Essex: the only way is up

It's been called the 'dustbin of London' and the 'armpit of the world' – but there are efforts afoot, on TV and in the country's art galleries, to redeem Essex's reputation

We need to talk about Essex. Surely no county has been so systematically defined and reduced. Simon Heffer's now-infamous Daily Telegraph editorial published in 1990 named the vomiting Thatcherites he encountered at Liverpool Street station as examples of "Essex Man". At around the same time, Chigwell provided the setting for the upwardly mobile prison widows in Birds of a Feather. More recently, of course, there has been Buckhurst Hill and Brentwood's "structured reality" pantomime, The Only Way is Essex. And while Channel 4's Educating Essex, filmed in Harlow, was funny and sensitive, its title seemed to imply that to teach an Essex kid anything was a novel idea.

The fact that Essex is maligned is hardly news. "It has
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Essex: the only way is up

It's been called the 'dustbin of London' and the 'armpit of the world' – but there are efforts afoot, on TV and in the country's art galleries, to redeem Essex's reputation

We need to talk about Essex. Surely no county has been so systematically defined and reduced. Simon Heffer's now-infamous Daily Telegraph editorial published in 1990 named the vomiting Thatcherites he encountered at Liverpool Street station as examples of "Essex Man". At around the same time, Chigwell provided the setting for the upwardly mobile prison widows in Birds of a Feather. More recently, of course, there has been Buckhurst Hill and Brentwood's "structured reality" pantomime, The Only Way is Essex. And while Channel 4's Educating Essex, filmed in Harlow, was funny and sensitive, its title seemed to imply that to teach an Essex kid anything was a novel idea.

The fact that Essex is maligned is hardly news. "It has
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

London and Radio On: watch the double bill

The final offering in our season of British cult classics are two films that take us far into the dark heart of England

The fourth and last of our British cult classics double bills offers two very different, virtually unclassifiable films: Patrick Keiller's London, from 1993, and Christopher Petit's Radio On, released in 1979. Keiller's film, a melancholy homage to the UK capital, resembles a string of animated still photographs, while Petit's is a gloomy, mannered black-and-white road movie that, as its director suggests, is something of a journey into the past as well as across England. Despite their surface dissimilarities, the two films share a dynamic intelligence towards the environment and landscape that surrounds them; both are cinematic pilgrimages through England.

London is perhaps the slightly better known: written and filmed by Keiller, who rather obviously spent considerable amounts of time traipsing around the city with a locked-off camera
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Daily Briefing. "Film socialisme" Cruise Ship Runs Aground

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If the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the west coast of Italy last night, looks familiar to you, it's likely that it's because it's the cruise ship that's the setting for the first movement of Jean-Luc Godard's Film socialisme ("It's less a tourist cruise than an international summit of bastards," wrote David Phelps in June). The accident, which cost the lives of three people and injured many more (and around 40 of the 4000 passengers are still missing), occurred on the same evening that a rogue vigilante group going by the name of Standard and Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of nine eurozone countries.

Which brings us to our first set of DVDs. A Forum topic on Artificial Eye's release of its Theo Angelopoulos Collection has been rumbling along for half a year now and, with the third volume coming out next month, David Jenkins has a good long
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Scenes from Andrew Kötting's life

On the eve of the release of his most personal film to date, This Our Still Life, the avant garde director talks to Sukhdev Sandhu

"Central heating is my biggest enemy," declares the film-maker Andrew Kötting. "I'm not a big fan of double glazing. Or the Shopping Channel. Or sweet-smelling perfumes. Vanilla living is always something that makes me physically sick." He pauses for thought. "Actually, the biggest enemy is often myself. I get angry with the voices in my head: I want to shut them up."

Coming from any other director, these words could easily sound abrasive or disturbing. From Kötting, they're absolutely normal, almost reassuring. In 2001, he issued a Dogme 95-inspired manifesto entitled eArthouse Declaration of Spurious Intent that not only urged "All film-makers to have spent time with their arms or feet inside another sentient being, alive or dead", but also that "The film should show signs
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Is the Tate too good for Danny Boyle?

Patrick Keiller's video at Tate Britain is hardly a surprise – he's an arty director. But where are all the mainstream film-makers?

Patrick Keiller, poetical and meandering independent director of such films as London and Robinson in Space, is to create an installation at Tate Britain. He joins an elite of cinematic auteurs, including Peter Greenaway and Atom Egoyan, who have crossed the line from showing in cinemas to showing in museums – in Egoyan's case in London's abandoned Museum of Mankind several years before it became the Haunch of Venison gallery.

Keiller makes complete sense for such a commission. But does he, in fact, make too much sense in this context? Like Greenaway, who has found it natural to translate his deconstructive interest in images into installations that interpret great paintings such as The Last Supper, Keiller is – well, he's arty. His meditations are not far from video art and have surely influenced it.
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The Forgotten: After London

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<p><img align="middle" src="http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/donpayasos/Kobayashi/vlcsnap-825451.png" alt="l" width="500" /></p> <p>In the dying years of the last century, Patrick Keiller was Britain's leading cinematic psychogeographer, mapping the unconscious impulses of the English cityscape in two remarkable feature films, <i>London</i> (1994) and <i>Robinson in Space</i> (1997). Both films were supported by the British Film Institute, before it stopped supporting the production of actual films. As state support for the arts dwindled in Britain, becoming more and more driven by the desire to pursue commercial success at the expense of artistic creativity (as if the two should always be considered polar opposites), Keiller seemed to fall silent, like that other great BFI beneficiary, Terence Davies.</p> <p>But now, rather astonishingly, he's back! <i>Robinson in Ruins</i> (2010) will continue the peregrinations of the fictitious lecturer and flaneur, although with the passing of Sir Paul Scofield, the film's narrator has undergone a change of identity and will now be embodied, or rather disembodied, by Vanessa Redgrave.</p> <p>Such a
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Robinson in Ruins – review

In the mid-90s the architect Patrick Keiller established himself as one of Britain's best independent film-makers with two uniquely personal films, London and Robinson in Space. Their narrator, Paul Scofield, purported to have travelled around London and other parts of the UK with his friend Robinson, a gay, leftwing academic, commenting upon the seen world and what lies beneath. Orwell, Baudrillard, Bill Bryson, Stuart Hall, Ian Nairn and Iain Sinclair come to mind as comparably acute social observers. Keiller's welcome new film rediscovers Robinson, or rather a notebook and some cans of film that he had left in his suburban Oxford squat after having emerged from a spell in jail for unspecified anarchic activities in early 2008. They record his suave, erudite, epigrammatic peregrinations around Oxfordshire and Berkshire as the world economic collapse of that year took place around him.

He visits ghost towns, deserted Us bases, the place were Dr David Kelly committed suicide,
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Robinson in Ruins

Brian Dillon hails the return of Patrick Keiller's Robinson in a film about the conundrum of the countryside

The opening sentence of Patrick Keiller's new film, voiced with laconic precision and italic irony by Vanessa Redgrave, is calculated to quicken the hearts of admirers of Keiller's enigmatic oeuvre: "When a man named Robinson was released from Edgecote open prison, he made his way to the nearest city and looked for somewhere to haunt." Robinson in Ruins is the third of Keiller's feature-length essay-fictions to deposit his eccentric protagonist among the relics of millennial England, where he functions once more as the comically half-deluded conduit for the director's own brand of visionary scholarship. As a fictional invention, the autodidact aesthete Robinson, whom we only ever encounter via the films' narrators' vexed relations with him, is an absurd sort of wraith, tricked up from reminders of Defoe and Céline, but
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Robinson crusade: Patrick Keiller serves up a new slice of poetry in motion

After a 13-year silence, the film-maker is back with Robinson in Ruins, the latest in a subversive series about British society

Patrick Keiller has perfect timing. Like an expert ghost carrying out a particularly good haunting, it seems only fitting that the maker of some of British cinema's most wryly subversive documentaries would re-emerge now, at one of the more interesting junctures of modern history. The vehicle is Robinson in Ruins, the third film in a loosely-bound series of glorious square pegs, made over a period of almost 20 years. The films are united by their role as dense, free associative wanderings through the stuff of British life and by their protagonist, Robinson, perhaps the only hero in film to be neither heard nor seen in any of his movies.

A new film from Keiller would mean a celebration round my way at any time. But there is a special pleasure in remaking his acquaintance now.
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48th Nyff 2010: Patrick Keiller's Robinson in Ruins

Robinson in Ruins is the third in a trilogy of landscape essays from Patrick Keiller, the previous two being London (1994) and Robinson in Space (1997). They all feature a first person camera and narration with a false history, and stories about a fictional character named Robinson. Keiller had no intention of creating a series, but just kept wanting to revisit the experience. The best part of these films is the cinematography—which is beautiful. Everything is static, and the compositions are all like paintings. Some are landscapes, some are close-up studies of, in the case of one particular highlight of Ruins, a bee gathering honey. Keiller discussed his process afterwards, explaining that he works with a “recipe” or “itinerary” more than a script per se. The first two films had very specific “recipes,” with this one being looser, “less ground in more detail.” The camera subjects are identified beforehand, then they go out and shoot.
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British cinema – what now?

The immediate future of Brit film looks bright, with a slate of intriguing premieres before the end of 2010. But, in step with the political uncertainty, the view after that is much murkier

So, here we are then, rubbing the sleep from our eyes and blinking into our collective future – Britain, for the moment, in parliamentary limbo. At moments like this, of course, the small corner of existence that is movie culture can seem of less than prime importance – but perhaps that's exactly why it's vital for film lovers at least to take the time to ask ourselves how this is all going to shake down for our favourite art form. Gentle reader, the question is: what now?

After all, the storm clouds have been gathering for some time already, with the last residual blissed-out optimism of the early noughties long since vanished in these crisis-scented times. Rumbling away in the
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pages from a cold island: Bright Future?

Above: Clio Bernard's The Arbor.

An entirely subjective rundown of the 20+ most-anticipated British films scheduled to have their first public screenings between April 20th and December 31st 2010.

1. Robinson In Ruins (dir. Patrick Keiller)

To call Robinson In Ruins “long awaited” doesn’t quite cover it, given that 13 years have now elapsed since Patrick Keiller’s last release, Robinson In Space(1997). The latter, a quizzically unclassifiable hybrid of political-sociological essay-film and landscape documentary with fictional elements, was perhaps the finest British film of the 1990s.

Like its predecessor London (1994)—also a masterpiece—it featured narration by Paul Scofield. With Scofield now sadly gone to a “better place,” Keiller (who in the interim has been busy with a stack of non-film projects) has turned to Vanessa Redgrave to provide the voiceover for what is apparently a “record of a journey made around southern England in 2008.”

Among his key inspirations, the following quote
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