The White Review and Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) are excited to announce the fourth instalment of ‘White Screen’, a new online initiative to showcase artists’ film and new writing.
This month we’re featuring ‘No Place (Looking Back)’ (2005) by Sarah Miles. Moving between the gritty urban environs of King’s Cross, London, and a phantasmagoric Elsewhere populated by figures from cinematic history (albeit with a strong emphasis on The Wizard of Oz), ‘No Place (Looking Back)’ revolves around the central figure of a young woman ‘looking back’ on her journey from the countryside to the city. King’s Cross – a once-rundown area much gentrified in the decade since the film was made – becomes an unlikely double for the Emerald City. The film is the companion piece to ‘No Place (Looking Forward)’ (2005).
In response, Darran Anderson – author of Imaginary Cities (Influx Press, 2015) – has written ‘Watching The Wizard of Oz with the Ghost of Bertolt Brecht’. Taking the word ‘utopia’ as its starting point and guiding metaphor, Darran’s wide-ranging essay meditates on the interrelated themes of loss, nostalgia and longing in relation to home (and homelessness), urban environments, and cinema history. ‘People go to the cities to prosper,’ writes Darran, ‘others to drown. Most do a mixture of both.’