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Story of Night 1979

It’s a black-and-white record of European cities in the dark (2-5am), from Basle to Belfast. Quiet, and meditative, what emerges most strongly is an eerie sense of city landscapes as deserted film sets, in which the desolate architecture overwhelms any sense of reality. The only reassurance that we are not in some endless machine-Metropolis is the shadow of daytime activity: a juggernaut plunging through a darkened village, a plague of small birds in the predawn light. The whole thing is underscored by a beautiful ‘composed’ soundtrack, from quietly humming streetlights to reggae and the rumble of armoured cars in Belfast. A strange and remarkable combination of dream, documentary and science-fiction.

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