London: The Modern Babylon 2012 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(5) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD
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London: The Modern Babylon is legendary director Julien Temple's (Joe Strummer - The Future is Unwritten) epic time-traveling voyage to the heart of his hometown.

Starring:
Keith Allen, Michael Gambon
Runtime:
2 hours 8 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

London: The Modern Babylon

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Product Details

Genres Music, Documentary
Director Julien Temple
Starring Keith Allen, Michael Gambon
Supporting actors Steve Jones, Bill Nighy, Andy Serkis, Imelda Staunton, Julien Temple, Juno Temple, Hetty Bower, Charlotte Marsh, Malcolm McLaren, Barbara Cartland, Tony Benn, Brian Nicholson, Lil Snoddy, Michael Horovitz, Molly Parkin, Sam King, Lord Kitchener, Wilf Walker
Studio Docurama
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
There is no narrator, but none is needed.
Steve Ramm
He maintains a real passion for his subjects and he obviously respects and honors his hometown of London!
K. Harris
Music was great as was the historical footage.
Jenny K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Julien Temple's "London: The Modern Babylon" is not a documentary feature in the traditional sense. Instead, it is a kaleidoscopic montage of images and music that showcase the evolution of a great city. Exhaustive and exhausting, this is a visceral experience that really captures a mood and serves as a rousing and fitting tribute. Temple, a music video auteur as well as a filmmaker, has produced some pretty stellar music oriented documentaries (The Filth and the Fury and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten leap to mind). It certainly seems to be where his heart lay, although the intriguing (if ultimately flawed) musical "Absolute Beginners" always rates a look in my book. He maintains a real passion for his subjects and he obviously respects and honors his hometown of London! Stylistically, this unique picture is really just a love letter. But it is a glorious one!

The Clash's "London Calling" sets this time traveling odyssey off perfectly as we begin with historical footage and race across the decades. Along the way, we see recognizable events big and small. But we also hear intimate stories, tales from average citizens who make up the history of London. Narrated by Michael Gambon, interesting music is layered onto archival footage for a one of a kind experience. The movie is heavy with images from the struggles and uprisings that defined the city's growth as well as the pop culture moments and figures that have become synonymous with London. Through the texture of the piece, Temple weaves a lot of subtle social and political commentary. From recessions to immigration and even war, we see that the city's resiliency has always been determined by its citizenry. They have evolved and pushed the city to keep up! Here we have a real working class hero, the regular Londoner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenny K on November 1, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a Londoner living in the US I loved this long history of my favorite city, Told me a lot I didn't know and reminded me of a lot I had forgotten! Music was great as was the historical footage.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 10, 2013
Format: DVD
I had no idea what to expect when I put this DVD into my player - the packaging doesn't tell you much. All I knew was it was a two-hour "documentary" produced, written and directed by Julian Temple - best known for working on video projects with David Bowie and the Sex Pistols - produced by the BBC and the British Film Institute. But as I watched the TV screen for those two hours I was fascinated by what I saw and heard. In advance of the excitement of the London Olympics, Temple delved deep into the film archives of the BFI and selected footage going back to 1900 and meshed it with some more modern images to tell the story of how London evolved over 113 years from a fully British city to a melding of cultures, with Jews, Asians and Indians arriving by the scores. He shows that this immigration influx had it's issues but eventually the city became truly "international" in nature. It seemed at every decade had its riots and these are shown too. There is no narrator, but none is needed. And, for the soundtrack, Temple used "period" recordings - 78s musical hall songs for the 19-teens and 20s, crooners for the 1930s and classic rock recordings (the Rolling Stones and, of course, the Clash's "London Calling)" for the later years. The list of song credits at the end goes on for a few minutes. (And don't miss the great footage of a monkey during the end credits - you'll understand when you see it!).

The film was nominated for a bunch of European film awards and I can see why.

The DVD includes a 6 minute "conversation" with Temple and the film's Trailer.

This DVD is well worth seeking out.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Most interesting. A little disturbing as I did not know a lot about LONDON. I have been there many times, but as a tourist, I was just looking at all the sights. Do read this book if you get a chance.
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By Annalee Sharpe on October 4, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wonderful footage old and new. First rate documentary.
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