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London - The Modern Babylon Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: London – The Modern Babylon is legendary director Julien Temple’s epic time-travelling voyage to the heart of his hometown. From musicians, writers and artists to dangerous thinkers, political radicals and above all ordinary people, this is the story of London's immigrants, its bohemians and how together they changed the city forever. Reaching back to London at the start of the 20th century, the story unfolds through film archive and the voices of Londoners past and present, powered by the popular music across the century. It ends now, as London prepares to welcome the world to the 2012 Olympics. [BFI] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 28, 2013
    Temple's film is refreshingly free of cliché. A very heady experience.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    May 28, 2013
    You’re left marvelling at London’s capacity for renewal and reinvention.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    May 28, 2013
    A dizzying collage of all the changes in London’s social and architectural fabric since light was first trained through celluloid.
  4. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    May 28, 2013
    This is a portrait of cycles and change. But the mood of the film suggests that we should be impressed that this ever-growing, ever-changing city of ours is still chasing after new versions of the modern.
  5. Reviewed by: Daphne Howland
    May 28, 2013
    Temple and editor Caroline Richards demonstrate that the London mob (it can seem like there's been only one mob through the ages) time and again rescues the city from its complacency—and safeguards it from the suffocation of class-bound England.