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The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Keiller
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Essays by the iconic British filmmaker on the relationship between film, cities and landscape.

“Robinson believed that, if he looked at it hard enough, he could cause the surface of the city to reveal to him the molecular basis of historical events, and in this way he hoped to see into the future.”

In his sequence of films, Patrick Keiller retraces the hidden story of the places where we live, the cities and landscapes of our everyday lives. Referencing writers such as Benjamin and Lefebvre, this collection follows his career since the late 1970s, exploring themes including the surrealist perception of the city; the relationship of architecture and film; how cities change over time, and how films represent this; as well as accounts of cross-country journeys involving historical figures, unexpected ideas and an urgent portrait of post-crash Britain.

Product Description


“Patrick Keiller’s films (including London and Robinson in Space) are some of the most beautiful and evocative images of contemporary urban environments we have; in this collection of lucid and eloquent essays he shows us the theoretical rigour that lies behind his practice. Essential reading for urbanists, cineastes, psychogeographers – and indeed anyone who either lives in cities, or cares about them; so: everyone.”
– Will Self

“Keiller is Britain’s most observant and provocative film-maker around the subject of cities and the landscape. In these wonderful essays, he explores the political and cultural forces behind how the UK looks.”
– Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times Books of the Year

“An enigmatic, intermittently brilliant collection of essays about the built landscape of Britain and how it has changed in the last thirty years.”
– Andy Beckett, Guardian

“Perceptive, educated, un-obvious musings on place and inhabitation.”
– Rowan Moore, Observer Books of the Year

“Our most original geographical and political thinker.”
– Owen Hatherley, author of A New Kind of Bleak

“The View from the Train often delights with its sly, impish wit and observation.”
– Ian Thomson, Independent

“An essayist of stylish rigour.”
– Brian Dillon, author of In the Dark Room

About the Author

Patrick Keiller's films include the celebrated London (1994), Robinson in Space (1997), The Dilapidated Dwelling (2000), and Robinson in Ruins (2010). He has devised large-scale installations including Londres, Bombay (Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing, 2006) and The Robinson Institute (Tate Britain, London, 2012), the latter accompanied by a book The Possibility of Life's Survival on the Planet. He was a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art, London (200211), and has taught in schools of art and architecture since 1974.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5896 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1781681406
  • Publisher: Verso; Reprint edition (7 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GKO4HH2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #359,763 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keiller In Space 8 Dec. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Film-maker, artist, theorist, psychogeographer (an intellectual strategy he was practising long before the broadsheets cottoned on to it) and all-round polymath (hmm, isn't that a tautology?), Patrick Keiller is much-loved in our house. His films (such as Robinson in Ruins) repay repeated viewings, reminding one variously of Peter Greenaway, Chris Marker, Laurence Sterne, Walter Benjamin and Jorge Luis Borges.
I admire the combination of erudition and eccentricity and a very English Surrealism (with one eye firmly fixed on the Continent). His work is also, this must be stressed, very funny, with often unexpected juxtapositions, insights and cultural references piling up to brilliant and mad effect.
The good news is that those facets of his work are all present and correct this wonderful collection of his writings from the last few decades. Taking in cinema, architecture, Surrealism, time, space and just about everything else, it adds up to a fascinating glimpse into Keiller's mind - arch, witty and very cultured.
London and Robinson in Space [DVD]Robinson in Ruins [DVD & Blu-ray]The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Oxford World's Classics)The Early Films of Peter Greenaway 1 [1969] [DVD]
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars commuter train 30 Jan. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was potentially interesting and bought on the basis of a Radio 4 Start the Week's shopping puff. The discussion was stimulating. as for the book, it should really be properly edited (who does that nowadays? the author of course..) and sold as a substantial set of notes to accompany the films that get repeatedly mentioned. (And I mean repeatedly.) Still, some perceptive remarks about how view our surroundings. Prompted me to buy a Harvard UP book by a Finn called Erkki Huhtamo, offering a thorough treatment of the Panorama - rather more expensive but a properly produced book.

Now I have to get Robinson in Space..
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