On The Inside Looking Out


There are so many quotable lines in the voiceover of this gruesome Rank ‘Look At Life’ short, suggested by Mark Valentine, one hardly knows where to start. This one’s about London members’ clubs, and how depressing were they? How badly lit, dull and vaguely grubby everything was!

Watch any of these short films on YouTube, though, and you enter an alternative reality where mad people go on about the loveliness of London before immigrants arrived. Are they blind? Can they really not see how much more enriched our lives have become with other cultures breaking London’s straitjacket of school dinners and snoozing gents in armchairs?

4 comments on “On The Inside Looking Out”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    The same here in much of the U.S.
    As late as the Sixties, the “foreign” influence was hardly noticeable in D.C., for example. The Asian restaurants were American-dominated Chinese, as were all of the few other foreign-dining opportunates. Then Vietnam happened and it all began to change at home, and rapidly.
    It hasn’t slowed down yet. Here in Fairfax, VA they have to accommodate 172 languages in the school system in order to talk with parents. And in the courts, too. (We also have 172 driving styles now, too.) And the restaurants! And the markets! And the accents! And the richness of life. “Priceless.”

  2. Helen Martin says:

    “Before immigrants” and when would that be exactly? As you noted on the posting about the goat statue there have always been immigrants in London and they were possibly more noticeable when London was smaller and less densely settled.
    I enjoyed this film, though, especially the bedroom for those having to stay overnight. Not quite the luxury described in Dorothy Sayers, but the general sitting areas certainly matched. I could imagine the old general (was he?), his poppy in his coat, his newspaper across his lap, dozing in front of the fireplace until it was discovered he was dead.

  3. GB Steve says:

    I like the one about coffee bars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_nsRHHcq1P8). My Mum used to drink in Le Macabre.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Steve, that is a wonderful bit of film. We had sort of coffee houses soon after that but they were places for new style folk singers and leftist rabble rousers to hang out. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to one, but it was fun watching my generation dancing there.

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