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Robinson in Ruins

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© Patrick Keiller

Synopsis

Robinson in Ruins is an account of a journey by a wandering, erratic scholar, through landscapes in the south of England. Its fictional narration begins: 'When a man called Robinson was released from Edgcott open prison, he made his way to the nearest city, and looked for somewhere to haunt'.

Robinson ‘believed he could communicate with a network of non-human intelligences determined to preserve the possibility of life’s survival on the planet’ and ‘was equipped with an ancient ciné camera, with which he made images of his everyday surroundings’. He surveyed the centre of the island on which he was shipwrecked: 'The location,' he wrote, 'of a Great Malady, that I shall dispel, in the manner of Turner, by making picturesque views, on journeys to sites of scientific and historic interest.'

The film consists of these views. The cinematography began in January 2008 and continued until November, just after the peak of that year’s global banking crisis. The film’s unplanned journey ‘rediscovers’ several locations associated with capitalism’s development since the 16th century and resistance to it. Vanessa Redgrave’s narration includes references to the deepening economic crisis, climate change and mass-extinction, but manages to reach an optimistic conclusion.

Details

Year
2011
Type of film
Features
Running Time
101 mins
Format
35mm
Director
Patrick Keiller
Producer
Keith Griffiths
Co-Producer
Keith Griffiths
Editor
Patrick Keiller, Larry Sider, Chu-Li Shewring
Screenwriter
Patrick Keiller
Director of Photography
Patrick Keiller
Sound
Patrick Keiller, Larry Sider, Chu-Li Shewring
Principal Cast
Vanessa Redgrave (narrator)

Production Company

Patrick Keiller
c/o BFI Distribution
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7255 1444
Fax: +44 (0)20 7436 7950
marketing.films@bfi.org.uk

Sales
Company

HanWay Films Ltd.
24 Hanway Street
London
W1T 1UH
UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7290 0750
Fax: +44 (0)20 7290 0751
http://www.hanwayfilms.com
fw@hanwayfilms.com