Friday, 7 September 2007

we could be heroes

Earlier this week, one of my students asked me to recommend a film that I thought was the most accurate representation of contemporary London.

This is the point when I realised that my first answer was going to be Shaun of the Dead, and the second one was Dr Who. Given that zombies and aliens do not play a major part in my daily life, this may say more about the sort of films and tv I watch than the city in which I live...

Previous conversations about London-ish films have brought up:

Notting Hill (Hugh Grant et al clearly inhabit some sub-set of London which I do not)
Sliding Doors (ditto)
Alfie (fails the contemporary clause)
Snatch (fails the accurate clause)
Four Weddings (fails both the contemporary and the Hugh Grant clauses, although it's the best of the RomComs that are not RomComZoms.)
Clockwork Orange (fails the contemporary clause)
28 Days Later - (potential future, so fails the contemporary clause)
Children of Men - (ditto - although it is brilliant)

So I turn the question over to you. What film do you think is the most accurate representation of contemporary London?


Anonymous said...

Which aspect of London, how contemporary?


Dirty Pretty Things - plight of illegal immigrants in modern day London.

Secrets & Lies - okay, it's coming up to being 10 years old, but 'cinema verite' as it were.
Actually, much of Mike Leigh's films are worthy of consideration, but some are best watched with the knives, barbituates & booze locked away (just to be on the safe side).

For a fictionalised presentation of the 'Islington set':
Breaking & Entering - mix of immigrants and m/class architects
Notes on a Scandal - although the setting is in the background.

For political insight, there's the tv series - The State of Play

Then there's Long Good Friday isn't a modern film, but works well for an insight into early Thatcherite London (ditto Mona Lisa).


Anonymous said...

Wait, if Ben gets to nominate Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa (both of which are rather excellent, by the way), I'm totally demanding we stick My Beautiful Laundrette on there :)
It may be twenty years old, but I think a lot of the themes are still relevant. Same with Sammy and Rosie get laid, maybe?

You know who ;-)

Nick said...

This Years Love, although it is 8 years old now! Which made me realise my next choice Beautiful Thing is 11 years old!!!!
I've not seen them but Kidulthood and Bullet Boy and pretty relevant for todays media obsession of teen gangs/violence in london.

H Trauma said...

I second Kidulthood.