Close Up

7 December 2018: London Labyrinth: Chris Petit Double-Bill & Record Launch


Stanley Schtinter presents Chris Petit’s highly personal and impressionistic view of London seen through archival film, London Labyrinth, in a double-bill with Carfax Fragment – Petit's homage to Bram Stoker and the edge lands of London, actual and imagined.

Pre-launch for the pre-inaugural vinyl LP from purge.xxxIn What's Missing, Is Where Love Has Gone by Chris Petit & Mordant Music. An album inspired by a freeze frame taken accidentally from Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth; an album about more than the back of David Bowie’s head. Copies available to purchase exclusively at Close-Up.

London Labyrinth
Chris Petit
1993 | 40 min | Colour | Digital

"London Labyrinth is a 40-minute exploration of the city using archive film. Baring similarities to Julien Temple’s London – The Modern Babylon, London Labyrinth is narrower in scope but also more personal. We fly across the capital with clips of the city through the years mixed with samples from film and television including Miss Marple, The Face of Fu Manchu, and The Firm. There’s something exciting about watching Gary Oldman’s yuppie thug Bex being spied on by John Betjemen (in a clip from Metro-land). The links here are playful, the music invigorating and the use of sound clips (featuring the likes of Orson Welles) inventive. The result is an idiosyncratic love letter to the city and to film itself." – Front Row Reviews

Carfax Fragment
Chris Petit
2001 | 15 min | Colour | Digital

An intense meditation on an obscured riverside landscape on the outskirts of London. In this location, which was selected by Bram Stoker for his Dracula, now stands a giant soap factory, a huge storage container and the Anglo-Saxon church used for the funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Inspired by Dreyer, Stoker’s text, and Nosferatu, the film is both a visual game about innocence, horror, and space, as well as a return to the infinite possibilities of the first days of silent cinema; with music by Bruce Gilbert.

Dedicated to Roeg, Bowie, the city of London, and all the rest who’ve had to turn away forever