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A London Trilogy: The Films of Saint Etienne 2003-2007 [DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Paul Kelly, Kieran Evans
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 22 July 2013
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C5II3RW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,774 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

A LONDON TRILOGY: THE FILMS OF SAINT ETIENNE

From a beautifully conceived film-poem and an imaginative exploration of the Lower Lea Valley to an uplifting documentary on a London landmark, the collaborations between much-loved electronic indie trio Saint Etienne and filmmaker Paul Kelly (Lawrence of Belgravia) document London ever-changing environment and landscapes to music by the band. Available together on one DVD for the very first time, this loose trilogy is supported by rare and previously unavailable short films.

Finisterre (2003, Paul Kelly and Kieran Evans): is a homage to London featuring a host of well-known voices who've made the capital their own, soundtracked by songs from Saint Etienne album of the same name.

What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day? (2005, Paul Kelly): follows paperboy Mervyn Day on his round, tracing the fascinating hidden history of East London's Lower Lea Valley in the years before it was redeveloped to become the Olympic Park. Featuring the voices of David Essex and Linda Robson

Commissioned by the Royal Festival Hall to mark its renovation and reopening This is Tomorrow (2007, Paul Kelly) lovingly records the immense labour, that went into the refurbishment of one of London's most distinguished concert venues

Special features

  • Today's Special (2004, 9 min in total): a series of three shorts about London's disappearing cafes
  • Banksy in London(2003, 3 mins): outtakes from Finisterre, that document the artist's work, some of which is no longer situ.
  • Monty the Lamb (2006, 12 mins): a day in the life of Monty, mascot for North Hendon FC
  • Seven Summers (2012, 10 mins): Sarah Cracknell narrates this follow up to Mervyn Day, which revisits the Lea Valley seven years on from the making of that film
  • .
  • The Other South Bank (2008, 9 mins): a look at Tyneside's South Bank area
  • Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays
  • Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)

UK | 2003 + 2005 + 2007 | colour | English | 59 + 45 +54 mins | DVD9 | Original aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Finisterre, a homage to the gritty real London, all to the sounds of Saint Etienne's album of the same name. They said, they were asked to do a promo film for the album, but instead sound-tracked a great film. The other two are lesser, but worth getting to know. A band that continues to promote its Londonishness with out being bigoted. Perhaps, they should do a residency in Yorkshire?
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Having previously enjoyed watching finisterre a past dvd release ( also included on this dvd ) a london trilogy , this compilation is a welcome release and the films do exceed all expectations , wonderful observations of london and its places steeped in atmosphere and punctuated with commentary , derelict , abandoned buildings yet you get a real sense of what once existed , so remote now but were once filled with hope and dreams , you can almost hear the echoes of lives which have moved on .
Definately wouldn,t describe the films as documentaries they really do go below the surface of whats being filmed , neither do they make statements for me they just totally capture a sense of the past and the present .
Various interesting characters appear going about their lives in a casual fashion , no one appears to have a care in the world exuding a passion for london , happy to be where they are , watching football with a pukka pie ,in a cafe ,nose pressed up to the window of a guitar shop , thumbing through a box of 45's , it really is mesmerising stuff .
The quality of the filming seems excellent on my tv , not noticed any grainy resolution but if there was i feel it would be in keeping with the subject .
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For the last ten years, indie-pop group Saint Etienne have had another career as film-makers. The three feature films and many shorts in this set show that this isn't just a hobby for them. Beautifully directed and shot by long-time collaborator Paul Kelly, these films will be of interest to anyone who enjoys psychogeography, London, architecture or the work of Patrick Keiller, Iain Sinclair or Jonathan Meades. These are beautiful, incredibly stylish documents of everyday life in a rapidly changing world.
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Subject matter is very interesting, but I'm hugely disappointed with the picture quality. I would have expected much better from the BFI.
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As a compilation of St Etienne film soundtracks, this is excellent for those of us who like that sort of thing. But as a set of films, the selection of the 3 main features is very variable. "What Have You Done Today Mervin Day?" is a stunningly atmospheric film with a beautifully effective soundtrack, "Finisterre" has some beautiful imagery but no apparent structure or sequence - a haphazard mash-up, but still enjoyable. The first half of "This Is Tomorrow" is interesting with the account of the 1951 Festival of Britain and the original concept for the Royal Festival Hall, but then loses direction as too many intellectual talking heads start talking intellectually and it becomes a snooze-fest of construction workers in hard hats and hi-visibility vests doing construction things, although if you like scaffolding films, this is definitely one to watch. And there's a sequence about how they made the carpets.

The extras shorts are all pleasant enough, well photographed and gently interesting. Seven Summers is not really a proper sequel to What Have You Done Today Mervin Day, just a slight revisit with a commentary and a lot of reused footage, instead of being a real then-and-now comparison. The real gem is "The Other South Bank" about the South Bank district of Middlesborough - a very evocative and moving tribute to a dying area.

So buy it because either (1) you want the music or (2) to see What Have You Done Today Mervin Day and The Other South Bank (and maybe for Finisterre), but probably not for the other content.
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I like these films a lot and would have given them 5 stars. However, the picture quality is absolutely appalling and makes for very difficult viewing. I expect more from a BFI release
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By L on 4 Oct. 2013
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This is the business, capturing a recent world now sadly gone. Beautifully shot brilliant score. A very handsome booklet too.
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Super, smashing, great. On the ockey. Come and look at what you would've won. It's a speedboat. Keep out of the black and into the red, there's nowt in this game for two in a bed.
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