Utopia London

The location of the screening of Utopia London at Islington Museum felt right. The film is paean to the welfare state, and it was shown in the basement of a building which exemplifies the welfare state, in a local library, next to Spa Green Estate, down the road from Finsbury Health Centre, with hints of Tecton all over the place.

It’s film which tells the story of the 20th century London through the lens of it’s social housing. A mix of original documentary, and achieve footage - A kind of Adam Curtis film, with out the conspiracy or hallucinogenic abstraction.

Film nods to many of the big hits of he last epoch like the Alton Estate, Alexandra Road and Dawson’s Heights, but strangely misses some of the most significant like Balfon Tower, Robin Hood Gardens or the Lansbury Estate

It was a meeting of initiates in cool dark hidden room - the screening felt like a secret club for housing heads. Except London housing films aren’t just for architecture students and local history bros anymore. There was a wide demographic at the screening - it feels like this film is part of the transition from a discourse within a tiny sect to a public mainstream concern.

Eddie BlakeComment