Next 3 Films in The City Series Announced


The City Series – a series of films and talks on the theme of the city that The Culture Vulture is hosting in cahoots with Hyde Park Picture House and the Leeds Society of Architects on the last Tuesday evening of the month – kicked off to a great start Last week with The Human Scale. The cinema was packed and the discussion very lively – check the Twitter hashtag #cityseriesleeds and our Storify

The next three films have been announced.

On the 25th of March we’ll be showing Urbanized, a documentary film by Gary Huswit, introduced by David Rudin, the Director of URBED (Urbanism Environment Design) in Manchester.

On the 29th of April we have The Arbor, a story about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (who wrote Rita, Sue and Bob too) which will be introduced by Leo Hollis, author of the Brilliant Cities Are Good For You.

And on the 27th of May we’ll be screening Of Time and The City, Terence Davies’ haunting meditation on Liverpool. Speaker to be announced soon.

Book early on the Hyde Park Picture House Website.


  1. First up I think it is great idea to have a season of films reflecting issue of urbanism/urbanity.

    But at present I cannot really see any common thread in the way the films have been chosen and if I can see one it seems IMHO a little unchallenging and the films a bit predictable e.g, Tyrannosaur is much more of “spatial” film than The Arbor and it is set in Leeds. Next up The Full Monty?

    So far the offer seems to be cycle ways and street cafes as urban regeneration, architect as hero, tragedy of northern working class woman writer, gay film maker reflects on his provincial upbringing. The book Cities are good for you – was panned in the review I read.

    If Culture Vultures – Hyde Park and Leeds Society of Architects are trying to build a conversation around urbanism (and possibly cinema) then perhaps you need to go beyond the clichés by introducing themes such as

    The success of modernist deign in the 1960’s and 1970’s Utopia London – a film in the vein of Ken Loach’s Spirit of 45 – Antidote to the “big plans all went wrong” school.

    The unknowable city – various psycho-geographical films from Patrick Keiller, Iain Sinclair, Chris Petit et al. e.g. London Orbital, Robinson in Ruins or Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg – as an antidote to the “let’s ask the people” approach.

    Surveillance city – Red Road, Enemy of the State, the Conversation – Don’t imagine they’re not watching you.

    Irredeemable city – as location for crime and corruption – basically too many to mention: Hell is a city, (Manchester 1950’s), Get Carter (Newcastle), 1974 (Leeds), Long Good Friday (London 1980’s). etc etc. Chinatown, Heatwave

    Racialised city – At present your selection gives mostly a White view of the city although this is challenged somewhat in The Arbor – how about the Black British cinema? Young Soul Rebels, London kills me, Looking for Langston.

    Dystopian urban futures – Alphaville

    Cities, illness and activism – We were here, and How to survive a plague.

    Creative Cities – Blank City (no wave New York in the 1980’s) Cool School (Los Angeles 1960’s).

    These are all films from/about cities in developed counties – you would need another list to include cities more globally.

    1. I imagine the review you read of Leo’s book was by Will Self?

      I’d suggest you read the book rather than rely on a snarky piece of self-congratulation.

      You think The Arbor is “unchallenging?” … I’ve not seen Tyrannosaurus so can’t comment on it, but I can’t see how you can conflate The Arbor with The Full Monty. That’s just silly.

      As for going beyond the cliches, well we have scheduled a Patrick Keiller and with luck at least one of the other films you mention (it’s an experiment, only ten films so can’t please everyone.)

      And yes, the idea is to promote a conversation about living in the city – not “urbanism”, only your hero academic uses words like that. Sadly a lot of the themes you mention seem to be straight off a course list and wouldn’t interest many people outside a cosy campus, and we are trying to talk to as broad an audience as possible.

      Still, some great films! I love Chinatown.

      1. Well if you haven’t seen tyrannosaur you are hardly a Leeds Culture Vulture as much of it was filmed in Seacroft plus it was widely reviewed and much praised for its coverage of the domestic violence.

        The Arbor is ultimately unchallenging IMHO because it collapses into a clichéd account of the personal tragedy of female working class writer, the emphasis of the plot is on “her chaotic lifestyle” and “the grim reality of working class life”. It purports to be biographical but at the same time includes fictive elements which have been condemned by residents of Buttershaw as demeaning and exploitative not least in their use of local youth.
        The more interesting part about Dunwell’s own reception and ultimate exploitation by the art’s establishment is little developed IMHO e.g in the re-rewriting and re-presentation of Bob Sue and Rita.

        FYI I am entirely self-taught in film, architecture and matters “urban” so the comment about reading list is wide of the mark – if there is any cosy campus involved it is you and your audience.

        I probably picked up “urbanism” from your anonymous MC.

        Still any Patrick keiller will be worth seeing – will be interesting to see how the discussion goes on this on.

        1. ha, fair point about the MC.

          No, still not see Tyrannosaur. Loved Tina Goes Shopping, filmed in Cottingley … is it as good as that?

          Obviously I was being facetious with the campus comment – not sure about the readers, I don’t even have a degree, completely self-taught too.

          If you are at the next event come say hello and go for a beer after. We can talk about the Patrick Keiller films. Have you got the book?

Comments are closed.