Notes from the Edge of the East
Back in 2009 Tom Payne and I ventured to Krakow with a bare minimum of filming kit to make a film about architecture, eccentricity and neo-liberalism. What was happening in Krakow - a city I'd lived in - was disturbing us all. More importantly, the subject of the film, Karl Naylor, was being driven slowly mad by what seemed to be the gradual erosion of all the good things, replaced by shopping centres and 'executive apartments'.
As a first featurette I love this film. It has an energy that can only come from Tom and I not really knowing what we were doing, but wanting to do it anyway. Karl was great too, just letting us have it with both barrels. It was a time when property developers and retailers were marching all over this UNESCO heritage city and eviscerating the place as part of the 'Shock Therapy' doctrine that had been sweeping, I would argue, the whole world for decades. By this point it had only intensified and what was great about Karl was that he showed the audience how this evisceration of culture actually hurt people. Hurt their sensibilities.
This barrage of capitalist nonsense - which, bottom line, encourages the blind purchase of more things - carries on. It's happening everywhere. What's worse is that it is an excused ideology which now has a figurehead in the most powerful position in the world.