‘HOW WE USED TO LIVE begins in 1950, one year before the Festival of Britain, with the emergence of the National Health Service, the Welfare System, a new language of the commons. It ends in 1980 with Margaret Thatcher’s bellicose model of Two Nation Toryism in the ascendant. A tender ode to postwar London, a bittersweet memory waltz, an affectionate trawl through little-known footage owned by the British Film Institute, this marriage of city symphony and archive film is also a protest movie that offers a vision of the metropolis far from that of the plutocratic present. “We had a very good Socialist model in this country,” says Kelly. “And it’s being dismantled for no good reason.”
HOW WE USED TO LIVE is narrated by Ian McShane (Deadwood), directed by Paul Kelly (Lawrence Of Belgravia, Take Three Girls), written by Bob Stanley (Saint Etienne) and Travis Elborough. The original score was composed by Pete Wiggs (Saint Etienne).
TRAVIS ELBOROUGH is the author of The Bus We Loved: London’s Affair With The Routemaster (2005), The Long Player Goodbye (2008), Wish You Were Here – England On Sea (2010), and London Bridge In America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing (2013). He writes for many publications including The Guardian, The Observer and Kinfolk. He is currently the Chisenhale Gallery Victoria Park Residency artist.
Copies of the Colloquium’s limited-edition 2013 publication NOTHING’S TOO GOOD FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE: THE FILMS OF PAUL KELLY will be available for purchase after the screening. (“Everything about this publication is great – the look, the layout, the writing” – Stephen Pastel)