From tower blocks and council estates to motorways, schools, hospitals, libraries, and leisure centres, Modernist architecture has left its mark on Britain. The documentary Utopia London, which is being screened at the University of Central Lancashire as part of the Conserving Twentieth Century project, pays homage to this era of town planning and the city in which its director, Tom Cordwell, grew up. Comprising interviews with some of the key architects in the rebuilding of a city left ravaged by the Second World War and beset with inequalities, the film shows the ideals and aspirations of those behind the Modernist movement, demonstrating how they aimed to build a better, more equal world by fusing design with artistic and scientific innovation. Many of the architects are now in their eighties, yet still full of spirit and idealism, and some of the film’s most moving movements are when they are taken back to the sites of their buildings to see how they fared. Utopia London is thought-provoking, inspiring and occasionally uplifting. With an introduction by Cordwell, and a Q&A after the screening, Utopia London is a must-see for anyone who has ever looked around and wondered: how did our towns and cities get to be the way they are? To give some local perspective, the evening will kick off with An Old Wives Tale, a short film from the North West Film Archive, made by the Central Lancashire Development Corporation in 1972 to promote the benefits of living in the North West.

Thu 6 Dec, Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema, Foster Building, University of Central Lancashire, Corporation Street, Preston, PR1 2HE, 6.15pm, FREE,

Thu 6 Dec
Natalie Bradbury
Published on:
Mon 3 Dec 2012