London at Work and on Screen

24 04 2009

Films from Asquith, Dearden, Frears and Poliakoff among new free series at Birkbeck, tracing eighty years of the capital’s employment scene.

At a time when many Londoners are feeling anxious about jobs, the idea of films about London at work might sound a little too close to the bone. However, Birkbeck’s new Tuesday afternoon series Working London shows that filmmakers have been dealing with the problems faced by Londoners for over eighty years. –>Full Programme

The series depicts working life in London through a variety of locations and jobs, from the once-vibrant docks and Covent Garden market, to a more contemporary laundrette, the shady side of banking and illegal moonlighting. The Working London series shows all these sides of the city, as well as exploring themes such as violence, sexual discrimination and the hardship faced by immigrant workers.

Classics such as Anthony Asquith’s Underground (1928), Basil Deardon’s Pool of London (1951) and James Clavell’s To Sir, with Love (1967), line up alongside more contemporary films such as Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Dirty Pretty Things (2002), and Stephen Poliakoff’s first feature as a director, Hidden City (1988).

All screenings are at 2.30pm in the Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1. The series runs until Tuesday 30 June.

Full Programme

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