This is bold: so a cinema club, which was originally set-up in a restored arts and community venue which has its own coffee and cakes outlet, is to screen a movie about gentrification in south London in which a film-maker is forced to confront the fact that she is part of the problem. Hmmm.
A Moving Image is the highlight of the Stanley Film Club’s September offerings, a visually stunning film which has been described as the movie that Spike Lee would make if he came to Brixton.
“The real people of this community are being forced out. The developers don’t give a flying fuck; they don’t have a social conscience… There’s no Costa fucking Coffee. Or Foxton’s … Please. Don’t. Make. Peckham. Trendy. Like. Brixton. Thank you.”
Swap the anguished words from one of the film’s protagonists, “Peckham” and “Brixton”, with Croydon and Shoreditch, and what we have here is a movie screening with an agenda, in an area where the council has been renting out disused shops on one road for art galleries and coffee shops.
Director Shola Amoo’s feature debut may be based in Brixton, but the issues of gentrification, social cleansing and artwashing, rising rents and reducing benefits, are coming much closer to home.
It’s not a perfect movie. “Energy, ambition and ideas jostle for screen space, sometimes at the expense of coherence,” a Guardian reviewer noted shortly after A Moving Image appeared at last year’s London Film Festival. Still, they also wrote that “in Amoo, we are introduced to a distinctive and bold new voice in British cinema”.
In an interview in a national newspaper, Amoo has said, “I was questioning the value of art in the face of social trauma and the role of artists in the process of gentrification. I was aware of the potential hypocrisy that exists being an artist and making a film about gentrification.”The film was part-funded through crowd-funding.
“My immediate reaction was to think that my blackness protected me from any claim – but does it? I wanted to explore the nuance of blackness in the UK and its unique relationship with art and class.”
First Brixton, then Peckham and the Walworth Road, next South Norwood? See A Moving Image and consider whether you change your outlook.
All films are at 8pm, £8 adv / £10 doors (£3 discount for members) and held at SNCC 10 South Norwood Hill, London, SE25 6AB unless otherwise stated.
Stanley’s Film Club programme: September
Wed Sep 6 DAZED AND CONFUSED (15)
1993 Comedy 102min, Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Jason London, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey
Featuring a colourful mix of character and a thunderous rock soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a coming-of-age story that perfectly captures that unforgettable 70s high school spirit. What better way to commiserate the start of term than with this iconic cult classic on the big screen?
Wed Sep 13 A MOVING IMAGE (15)
2016 Drama 74min, Director: Shola Amoo
Stars: Tanya Fear, Hussina Raja, Aki Omoshaybi
So, is it possible to regenerate an area without stripping away its soul and displacing its natives? The director explores this question as he gets under the skin of gentrification, confronting those all important issues of race, community and class that are so recognisable on our own streets in South Norwood.
Wed Sep 20 MINDHORN (15)
2016 Comedy 99 mins, Director: Sean Foley
Stars: Julian Barratt, Steve Coogan, Essie Davis
Side-splitting comedy makes its way back to SE25.
Police are on the hunt for an escaped lunatic wanted for murder but he refuses to speak to anyone but his beloved idol (from a 1980s TV show) – Detective Mindhorn himself.
Wed Sep 27 THEIR FINEST (12A)
2016 Com/Dram/Rom 117mins, Director: Lone Scherfig
Stars: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy
Ever wondered what the film industry was like during Britain’s finest hour? Then join us for this uplifting and inspirational look into the world of war time propaganda filmmaking. Based on the novel Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans, the film adaptation blends shrewd wit with a lot of heart.
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