Here is some more information about the event which the screening of O Dreamland is a part of:
"Returning from a seaside summer holiday, the first Plectrum Live Edition of the autumn mixes postcards from the promenade and the view into the fairground fortune teller’s crystal ball, with fresh perspectives on the sights and sounds of London, to present an evening of author readings, film screening, live music, poetry, and more with Travis Elborough, Lindsay Anderson’s O Dreamland, Karen McLeod, The Vatican Cellars, and Benedict Newbery, hosted by Guy Sangster Adams."Thursday 23 September at The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD. Doors at 7.30 performances begin 8pm. Tickets £6 on the door.
Set in a funfair in Margate called 'Dreamland' Lindsay Anderson's 1953 film O Dreamland wasn't actually screened until the first Free Cinema programme at the National Film Theatre in 1956. A short film of 12 minutes which tours round the funfair showing the 'attractions' which in this film appear very bleak, and at times, sinister. The effect of the film is described brilliantly by Gavin Lambert in an article he wrote on Free Cinema:
"Everything is ugly... It is almost too much. The nightmare is redeemed by the point of view, which, for all the unsparing candid camerawork and the harsh, inelegant photography, is emphatically humane. Pity, sadness, even poetry is infused into this drearily tawdry, aimlessly hungry world."
|Lindsay Anderson on location for O Dreamland, |
© Lindsay Anderson Collection, University of Stirling Archives
N.B. The funfair at Margate is still there today although it closed in 2005.
N.B. If you are in a Library, College or University which has an account with BFI Screenonline then you can watch O Dreamland for free online at http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/438978/