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1960's documentary time capsule is a gem
on 30 April 2010
Look at Life' - Swingin' London is not a gritty critical appraisal of contemporary London in the late 1960's, but a glimpse of the capital at the height of its power as a worldwide cultural force. The fourteen short films are a thoroughly engaging view of the optimism for the future that characterised that decade. This is epitomised in the film, 'Rising to High Office' which depicts a new corporate high-rise HQ which seems to offer it's employees a Utopian working environment where they can take advantage of free food, sports activities and even hairdressing all under the same roof.
Shopping by the ton looks at the old Covent Garden market before it was colonised by chic shops and street performers and for those who are interested in meat, Smithfield Market and its cast of characters comes under the scrutiny of the Rank Organisation cameras.
Anyone who wants to understand what makes the 1960's so different from 2010 should view 'In Gear' about the King's Road and Carnaby Street and listen to the mocking tone of the commentary which is both condescending to young people yet cynical enough to recognise the economic value of the British fashion industry.
A word here about the quality of the the transition of the 35mm film to DVD which is superb in sharpness, contrast, clarity and colour, nouns which coincidentally can equally be applied to the world of 1960's Swingin' London.