Swandown (2012)

July 17th, 2012
Author: Meredith Taylor

Swan2Director: Andrew Kötting

Writer: Iain Sinclair

94mins     Poetic Travelogue

Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair’s offbeat travelogue uses poetry, song and dry humorous banter to chart a very English voyage from Sussex to Hackney….by Swan-shaped pedalo.  Boarding the pedalo beachside at Hastings, they begin a slow and silly journey shot through with magical sunsets, morning mists, lyrical interludes and down to earth exchanges with the people they meet along the way.

To complete the eccentric feel Kötting wears a beautifully tailored suit which deteriorates into a mud-soaked rag in the final stages but neither men complain or utter a cross word.  The film has a strange hypnotic power to woo you with its gentle rhythm and quirky charm.  There’s no anti-Olympic agenda as such but Sinclair has a soft dig at the games on reaching the site barriers where heavy metal chains and signage warn them to keep out.  Swandown reminds us of the real reasons to be cheerful about England and being English.  It’s a pleasure cruise.

Meredith Taylor ©

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