Local News: Three Neighborhood Films by John Smith
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Between 1988 and 1996, John Smith made three quasi-documentary works that register the disastrous effects of the construction of the M11 Link Road on the filmmaker’s East London neighborhood. While all three function to preserve the memory of this vanishing landscape, and implicitly participate in the large-scale protests that met the highway’s construction, Smith — one of England’s most consistently inventive avant-garde filmmakers — puts the material to various suggestive uses, crafting three very different formal investigations whose unfolding stimulates a profound reflection on memory, time, history, and the lived experience of the city.