"How we used to live" + Q&A
with film writer Travis Elborough
Screening on Wednesday, July 16th 2014
as part of the Leytonstone Festival events
Using only colour footage from 1950 – 1980 How We Used to Live covers the early days of the welfare state up to the opening years of Margaret Thatcher's reign. From the shadow of the war and the great future created by the welfare state to the rise of individualism and the triumph of the consumer society, it is as much a lyrical cinematic meditation on life now as then.
With a wonderful brand new soundtrack written by Saint Etienne's Pete Wiggs and vocalist Sarah Cracknell providing gorgeous Swingle-y harmonies, the band's Bob Stanley has also collaborated on a inventive script with the writer Travis Elborough (London Bridge in America). This is brought brilliantly to life through the distinctive voice of acclaimed actor Ian McShane (Deadwood, Sexy Beast).
Mixing history with fantasy, the viewer is led through the film by McShane's likeable fictional narrator whose only constant is London. It is a city that he fell hopelessly in love with as child in the provinces and his digressive personal reminisces provide a universal account of the period, its hopes and ambitions and its fears and anxieties.
Alluringly impressionistic, poetical and political, How We Used to Live is perhaps the most joyful, creative and entertaining offering to come from this unique film making collective.
'A waltz through the music of cinematic time' – Sight and Sound Best Films of 2013