Swandown

Swandown

A film that follows Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair as they pedal a plastic swan over 160 miles along the seaside from Hastings to Hackney 3.8 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
Swandown

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Andrew Kotting
Cast Iain Sinclair, Andrew Kotting
Studio .
Release Date July 2012
Running Time 94 mins
 

A film that follows Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair as they pedal a plastic swan over 160 miles along the seaside from Hastings to Hackney

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Very, very crazy: mad in an English, glorious way.

19/07/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

There’s something enjoyably Herzogian about the pair’s trip: the way Kötting and Sinclair wrestle their craft, nicknamed Edith, over muddy embankments and bicker as they splosh along loamy waterways makes Swandown feel like Fitzcarraldo on a You’ve Been Framed budget.

19/07/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

The best line comes from the author of graphic novels Alan Moore, who takes over briefly at the pedals and remarks of Sinclair: "He doesn't think that anything should happen in Hackney without his permission."

22/07/2012

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

What’s it all about? Kötting has a strong sense of the ridiculousness, while Sinclair (more muted than one might expect) is more poetic, only occasionally letting loose his noted disdain for the Olympic project. But what’s most pleasing is Kötting’s reluctance to foist a single agenda on us, whether that’s the physical achievement of their trip, his sense of the absurd or Sinclair’s spiritual utterings. It’s a calm, resigned, mystical work that sits back and lets the world work its strange magic on us.

18/07/2012

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

That the whole thing is presented as a response to the imminent Olympics — with the journey ending in Stratford — adds nothing specific, but it provides as good a framework as any for a film that champions life’s true riches in opposition to all forms of plasticky corporatisation

22/07/2012

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

The experience of watching this film, which with some eloquence contrasts the foetid backwaters and post-industrial landscapes the pair encounter with the more pastoral England of Jerome K.Jerome’s Three Men in the Boat, is rather like coming round from an anaesthetic. You can’t quite believe that you’re fully conscious and witnessing something real.

20/07/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

The layers of each place are explored through old black-and-white film of Kent with cut-glass BBC accents, followed by voiceovers which sound like Werner Herzog talking about pulling a ship over a mountain in Fitzcarraldo, and the strange keening sounds off-screen of Kötting’s disabled daughter, Eden. You would recognise that only if you’d seen the director’s previous idiosyncratic documentary This is Our Still Life, and there is a feeling this is aimed at the art-house in-crowd.

20/07/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Part of their mission is to bring a defiant message of ambulatory freedom to the grim corporate compound that is the Olympic Park, and renew Sinclair's protests about how the Olympic behemoth was foisted on local communities in east London. It is also to intuit and celebrate the occult resonances and connections within the landscape — in the traditional and now very familiar psychogeographic style. There are some wonderful, unexpected images of wilderness and l'Angleterre profonde.

19/07/2012

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