Call to Action: Screens

19 March 2012


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March has been a busy month on this blog it seems.  So it’s time to take a rest, put your feel up and relax.  Maybe watch a movie.  Yes this week we’re discovering how the big screen or little screen has such an important role to play in helping people discover and also preserve the landscape and its stories.

To illustrate this let me set the scene.  The intrepid DP team have been busy researching our next project about the Lea Valley in London which is where the Olympic Park is located.  So our heads were fill of the history of the area there is  gunpower and matchstick production, industrial first, transport innovation, first class postal history!  All through Hackney Wick, Lea Valley Regional Park, along the Lea River, through Walthamstow Marshes and of course the Olympic Park itself, history had been or is  about to be made.

With brains that felt full to the brim we took time out on a Friday evening not that long ago to watch a film a Lea Valley.  I feared it might be a very dry and dull documentary.  But not instead we discovered the most delightful film called ‘What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?’

“ In 2005 Saint Etienne and Paul Kelly were commissioned by the Barbican to create a film set in the future site of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – the east end’s Lower Lea Valley. ‘What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?’ perfectly captured a forgotten and soon to be lost part of the city at a crucial moment?”

We had started that week filming on the Olympic Park in what is now the wetlands, an area full of new habitats for species and clean waterways and I went back in time at the end of the week to the same location!  In 2005 it was a such a different landscape, full of industrial waste and pollution.  Put Paul Kelly has managed to capture the beauty and spirit of the place and people.  I think it is a very important film as it captures a moment in time perfectly.

You can see the trailer for the film below and the film is out on DVD later this summer.  Find out more about the film and it’s makers on their website Heavenly Films.

We look forward to hearing about your favourite screen moments of landscapes and places close to you.

 

Post by Claire Horan, Discovering Places Project Manager.

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