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London Orbital

Year: 2004, 100 mins
Code: ILL-Lond

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London Orbital is an extraordinary and visionary film by Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair about the world's largest by-pass, the M25. London Orbital is a road movie, a cinematic excursion into the futuristic literature of a century past, and a film dialogue between two writers who are also filmmakers (and vice versa).

London Orbital is, among other things, a meditation on the difference between driving and walking. On Bram Stoker's "undead", on H.G. Wells and J.G. Ballard. On time and memory. On the difference between film and tape, sound and image. On trance states and the terror that lies beyond boredom; on shopping and terrorism; on Kabul and the leisure mall. On the invisible triangle of Thatcherism (covert arms deals, Essex gangsters, and drug dealing). On Pinochet and Thatcher as vampire lovers.

Iain Sinclair is the author of London Orbital, a book about his walk around the 120-mile road. Chris Petit elected not to make 'the film of the book' and chose instead to drive, and to capture in images the peculiar hallucinatory state that driving provokes.

Maverick British director Chris Petit has produced one of this year's eeriest and most haunting films, London Orbital, a threnody to the M25.' Sunday Telegraph

'It is a mediation on the M25 and gives an intriguing history of the occult archaeology of London that the ring-road discloses... Petit has witty and playful apercus for every mile he covers.' The Guardian

The DVD includes 3 exclusive features:

• An extended interview with Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair about the genesis, production and afterlife of London Orbital, about its relationship with Iain Sinclair's acclaimed book, about its unique visual language, and about why it is more a film about alien invasion than a documentary on the M25.

• Extracts from a 3-screen re-mix of additional London Orbital footage created by Chris Petit for a one-off performance event at London's Barbican Centre.

• A filmed feature on Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit's follow-up project: a virtual film about the A13, inspired by Sinclair's novel Dining on Stones, and taking the form of a walk and an allusive exhibition at The Wapping Project in the summer of 2004.

London Orbital is an Illuminations Films production for Channel 4 Television. Filmed and directed by Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair; produced by Keith Griffiths.

Iain Sinclair FRSL is a Welsh writer and filmmaker. Much of his work is rooted in London, most recently within the influences of psychogeography.

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