Tag Archives: Brexit

274 – Citadel

Listen on the players above, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

John Smith’s 16-minute short, Citadel, gives voice to the City of London – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s voice, specifically. Filmed during the first few months of lockdown in 2020, it builds an oppositional portrait of British life under Johnson’s blustery leadership – it’s Boris Johnson vs. the British people, and the City vs. the British people.

But in tying Johnson to the City, it ignores his shockingly unsympathetic stance, for a Tory leader, towards business – summed up succinctly in his overheard comment in June 2018: “Fuck business“. Late on, it depicts the British public as lambs to the slaughter as Johnson decrees they must return to work, but while Smith employs a soundtrack of outdoor construction, the homes he is able to show us are suggestive of the middle class, their inhabitants likely able to work from home.

Still, Smith only has so much to work with, stuck at home as he is, and Citadel is an evocative and concise film, cleverly conceived, shot, and edited. Its simplifications are small in comparison to the pleasures of its imagery, wit and tone. A treat.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.


22 – Paddington 2

Paddington returns to cinemas with a whimsical puff of upper middle class smoke from a lovely old warm cosy steam train. How nice. Mike wasn’t really looking forward to this.

So. Did he make it through Paddington 2? What do we make of the vision of Britain it constructs? How does its action outperform Justice League‘s? Is it fair to think of it as just Wes Anderson but somehow even more revoltingly cutesy? Is there anything wrong with outrageous accents? Isn’t Hugh Grant great, honestly?

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.