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London: The Modern Babylon [DVD]

Julien Temple    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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London: The Modern Babylon [DVD] + Wonderful London (DVD)
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Product details

  • Directors: Julien Temple
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Oct 2012
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008YWBQQ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,269 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

London: A Modern Babylon
a film by Julien Temple

London:The Modern Babylon is legendary director Julien Temple's epic time-travelling voyage to the heart of his hometown.

From musicians, writers and artists to dangerous thinkers, political radicals and above all ordinary people, this is the story of London's immigrants and bohemians and how together they changed the city forever. Reaching back to London at the start of the 20th century, the story unfolds through film archive and the voices of Londoners past and present, powered by the popular music from across the century. It ends in 2012, as London prepares to welcome the world as it hosts the Olympics

'Its collage technique, humanism and sympathy for ordinary people has much in common with the vision of Britain created by Danny Boyle's team for the opening of the Olympics...A movie to Cherish' Philip French, The Observer

Special features

  • Audio commentary by director Julien Temple
  • Interview with Julien Temple
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Fully illustrated booklet with film notes and credits

UK | 2012 | black & white, and colour | English with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 128 minutes | DVD9 | PAL | Original aspect ratio 1.78:1 | Dolby Digital 5.1 surround (320kbps) | Region 2 DVD


'An astonishing film...a rousing, powerful portrait of a city' --Dave Colhoun, Time Out

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history of London 7 Jan 2013
By Cordy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband and it is amazing. A wonderful history of London over the last 100-ish years through old and new film footage, personal recollections and great music.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Letter and Wake Up Call for London 29 Oct 2012
An absolute gem and a moving tribute to one of the world's great cities. A film that is being enjoyed by festival audiences around the world. I sat through a screening at Festival do Rio, and it left the audience in Rio spellbound. DVD will allow us to find many of Mr Temple's hidden London gems. Also look for the director's "Requiem for Detroit".
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I've always found that Julien Temple's rock documentaries (particularly 'The Future Is Unwritten' about Joe Strummer and 'Oil City Confidential' about Dr Feelgood) were somewhat spoiled by his obsession with illustrating every single phrase in the script with an archive or musical clip - it was basic showing off, but it barred the viewer from using his/her own imagination.

However, in this amazing collage of London through the last century and up to the present day, this use of clips and music gives the film amazing colour, drive and intensity - and the clips are actually assembled in historical order so that they serve the narrative. There is an incredible archive and historical knowledge on display. The director's always had good musical taste in my book, but he has tended to favour a few chosen, London-based artists. However, even his obsession with Ray Davies seems to fit well in this film.

There is not a dull moment, and this is is the documentary that should have been shown at the 2012 Opening Ceremony!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 2 hour journey 28 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Saw this at a BFI showing and just had to own it! The film excerpts are wonderful and the accompanying music is great. I f you love London this is an inspiring journey. Have just bought a copy to send to my daughter in New Zealand remind her of her roots.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wider view of the history of London 18 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An uplifting and well explored documentary of the diversity within London. An excellent argument against those who are too ready to accept this government's argument against immigration. To truly gain a balanced, evidenced, researched understanding of London as a cosmopolitan city, see this documentary. It will enrich your view and endear you to the people who make up the spirit of London
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fotage of C20 London. 6 Nov 2013
By Susanna
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fascinating but would prefer footage from movies to be marked as they may cause some confusion between history and fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 13 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent for London city lovers, rare footage mixed with good music and athmo, two hours run so fast, cant wait to see it again soon! Good job!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved this film 11 Mar 2013
I saw it on a whim from a listing in Time Out and was afraid it might end up being some artsy drivel, but it wasn't. It's substantial and highly engaging. A definite must for any Londonist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I love London
Interested in London and it's history - then watch this film
Published 2 days ago by christine siddall
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
Was lent this by a 70 year old ex inhabitant of Shoreditch & Hackney who knows more about London than anyone I know. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dave H
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful viewing
The content covers a long period from the early days of filming Londoners.
2 hours seems a long time but it does work in my opinion.
Definitely recommended.
Published 8 months ago by SJ from Highbury.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film/documentary
I fell in love with London all over again - great insight and history into a great city! The music and editing are excellent.
Published 10 months ago by Ms. S. L. Mallet
4.0 out of 5 stars Pace difficult
Comprehensive and very interesting but need the pause button to collect your thoughts. has to be viewed more than once.
Published 14 months ago by D ODELL
3.0 out of 5 stars gIFT for some-one else
As it is a gift for some-one else I can't comment on it as I haven't even opened the parcel yet.
Published 16 months ago by Ms. J. C. Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars London: The Modern Babylon
Excellent. A glimpse of the past which brought back lots of happy memories. Wonderfully put together which will be played again and again.
Published 17 months ago by Janet Wadman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Treadmill of Progress
Very wide-ranging it leaves no stone unturned. In keeping with its subject matter, a salmagundi of a documentary with a fitting conclusion.
Published 17 months ago by brian green
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