A bit of promotion and general back-slapping here for my good friend Jonathan Gales who’s just finished his penultimate year of an architecture MA at the Bartlett School, London.

Just after the over-excited Lena was crowned Eurovision Queen on Saturday and just before our Eurovision party descended into chaos Jonno showed us the reason he hasn’t emerged from his Borough flat much during the last few months.

The film’s focus is the notorious shopping centre at Elephant & Castle – 2 minutes from my flat. The 1965 building was recently voted London’s ugliest structure and is due for demolition in 2012 but Jonno’s film, imagining the building after some apocalyptic fire has ravaged its innards, manages to draw out the sense of mysticism and magic that the place has for those who live around it and walk its linoleum floors each day.

The central section re-imagines the emblem of this area, which for many represents a blot on the London landscape, as a sort of eastern icon or Nepalese shrine to pay homage to.

Technically the film is breathtaking – this wasn’t created in a post-house or CGI studio but at home with some sequences left to render for an entire weekend at times. Everything is Jonno’s creation, from the smoke stacks rising from the chapel-like interior to the simple but effective guitar soundtrack.

Check out his blog for details on how the film was developed and his Vimeo channel for other films including ‘It Started With A Mouse’ and ‘Utopia Revisited’ which looks at the Heygate Estate (on the 7th floor of which we called it a day after watching the sun come up at 5am on Sunday morning).


There’s some tenuous link here between shopping centre fires and arcade fires but what I’m really getting at is the big news of last week: Arcade Fire finally announcing their 3rd LP due for release on 2nd August. Even their awkward interview on NPR and the ever-so-slightly underwhelming 12″ they put out can’t dampen my spirits.

Enjoy the title track from the new record below along with their fantastic Serge Gainsbourg cover from the 12″ they released with LCD Soundsystem during the 2007 Neon Bible tour.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Arcade Fire – Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son