- Andrew Kötting
- In English
- 94 mins
Showing as part of Abandon Normal Devices Festival Preview
Swandown is a travelogue and odyssey of Olympian ambition; a poetic film-diary about encounter, myth and culture. It is also an endurance test and pedal-marathon in which Andrew Kötting (the filmmaker) and Iain Sinclair (the writer) pedal a swan-shaped pedalo from the seaside in Hastings to Hackney in London, via the English inland waterways. With a nod to Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and a pinch of Dada, Swandown documents their epic journey, on which they are joined by invited guests including comedian Stewart Lee, writer Alan Moore and actor Dudley Sutton.
Hear from the Director
And for those of you who missed our Q&A with director Andrew Kötting, producer Lisa Marie Russo, and writer, poet and psychogeographer Iain Sinclair, you can watch the highlights here.
Country: Great Britain
Last shown at Cornerhouse on Tue 7th Aug 2012
It’s a calm, resigned, mystical work that sits back and lets the world work its strange magic on us. Sinclair talks of him and Kötting becoming ‘flesh radios’ as they navigate the waterways and tune into the frequency of people and places. In spirit, however, this is resolutely more Resonance FM than Radio 1. ****
There’s something enjoyably Herzogian about the pair’s trip: the way Kötting and Sinclair wrestle their craft, nicknamed Edith, over muddy embankments and bicker as they splosh along loamy waterways makes Swandown feel like Fitzcarraldo on a You’ve Been Framed budget […] Swandown’s charm is rooted in something much deeper, and more profoundly English, than confected Team GB spirit. ****
From the kind of four-in-the-morning idea that could have been concocted by a bunch of addled students comes a quirky Jerome K. Jerome-ish insight into this strange land [...] well worth exploring.
Swandown is utterly funny, deeply lyrical, wholly winning, unchallengeably unique. It converts Kötting at a stroke from an acquired taste to a required one. *****
The Financial Times
The waterways are beautifully shot, by day and night, and the surreal giant swan turns the dullest of landscapes into a funfair. [...] The film is as fascinating as it is self-indulgent and meandering.
An engagingly eccentric aquatic odyssey