Night and The City – a night to remember with Sean O’Brien and Andrew Pulver

We gathered on Monday (27/6/16) in one of our favourite London spots, the Cinema Museum in Kennington, for an event celebrating the enduring appeal of the great British noir classic, Jules Dassin’s Night and the City. The film, starting Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney, is a favourite of poet Sean O’Brien, the author of our recently published chapbook, Hammersmith. Dassin’s film, especially its iconic final scene set on Hammersmith Bridge, was an inspiration for O’Brien – Widmark is even name-checked in his poem!

Awaiting the film at the wonderful Cinema Museum
Awaiting the film at the wonderful Cinema Museum

Before we settled in to watch the feature, we were treated to the London premiere of Kate Sweeney’s lyrical animated short, Hammersmith, based on both O’Brien’s poem and Dassin’s film. Sweeney was on hand to introduce the film, and to say a few words about the process of collaborating with a poet. You can watch the film here: https://vimeo.com/157918806

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Andrew Pulver (left) and Sean O’Brien in conversation

Then Sean and Guardian film critic Andrew Pulver took to the stage to discuss Night and the City and its shadowy depiction of post-war London, its extraordinary cast of characters (including some famous wrestlers of the period!) and why it is still worth watching. We then settled back and enjoyed seeing a rare 35mm print of the original British version (Hollywood made some changes before it was released in US – the American version is now the standard), expertly projected for us by Ronald Grant of the Cinema Museum.

Here’s a link to Andrew Pulver’s guide to the film: https://he.palgrave.com/page/detail/night-and-the-city-andrew-pulver/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781844572809

And to Sean O’Brien’s Hammersmith:
https://herculeseditions.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/announcing-hammersmith-by-sean-obrien-with-introduction-by-owen-hatherley/