For the final instalment of the Canary Wharf Screen, Art on the Underground collaborates with the BFI to screen a season of films showcasing previously unseen footage, rare and restored film, and newer experimental works by some of today’s most renowned British moving image artists. The ticket hall of Canary Wharf tube station has been infiltrated by the BFI screen since December 2012 and will remain to entertain commuters until March 2013, all in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the London Underground on 10 January.
Lifted directly from the BFI National Archive the programme is made up of three parts. The first part was The Artists Year in Nature, which explored the contrast between images of nature and the man-made concrete environment of London where they were screened. The final third part of the project begins at the start of February and is entitled From the City to the Sea: A Century of Archive Film. The conclusion of the season is a double bill of feature length creative archive documentary films that simultaneously record the history of the last century and the story of film itself.
Part two of the programme, Tales from the Underground began yesterday and runs until 5 February. This series features works from several directors including, Underground by Anthony Asquith (1928), All That Mighty Heart by RK Neilson Baxter (1963), Cine Gazette No.14 – Do You Remember? by Tony Thompson (1955), Under Night Streets by Ralph Keene (1958) and AFC: Automatic Fare Collection and You, by Bob Privett (1969). Taking rare and restored archive footage, Tales from the Underground reflects upon London Underground throughout history. In conjunction with a theatrical release on 11 January at the BFI Southbank and at selected cinemas nationwide, Asquith’s Underground revives the early silent era of feature filmmaking. Following a tale of love, treachery and murder on the underground, the newly restored piece is accompanied by an entirely new score written by Neil Brand and performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Part two also includes the instructional videos that were produced along with new ticketing and barrier technology in the 1960s and Keene’s Under Night Streets, which follows the “fluffers” who cleaned and maintained the tube system 50 years ago. And in January Café OTO will perform an experimental musical score to accompany the films live in Canary Wharf ticket hall.
Canary Wharf Screen, until 5 March, Canary Wharf, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E14.
1. Underground, Anthony Asquith courtesy of Youtube.