London - The Modern Babylon

Nitrate Film   |   UK

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, its 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 across the century. It ends now, as London prepares to welcome the world to the 2012 Olympics. Thousands of documentaries, travelogues, newsreels, home movies and feature films were viewed in the process of creating this film. The selected archive material ranges from early black and white 35mm to the high-def colour of today, assembled in layers just as London has been endlessly layered over by new arrivals and influences. The story of London's evolution since it was first captured on camera is not simply illustrated by the archive. Instead, the narrative emerges through the material itself, thrown up out of the vast sea of voices on the screen.