A portrait of the artist as a not so young man. The filmmaker attempts to enter the digital age by making a new video version of his 1978 film 7P.
John Smith is the quintessential East End filmmaker. Born in Walthamstow in 1952, he has never lived outside East London. Emerging from the Royal College of Art and London Film-Makers’ Cooperative of the mid-1970s, where ‘narrative and illusionism alike were critical targets’, Smith’s films have often found focus in his own neighbourhood, street or even home. ‘The familiarity of place is important,’ he says, contrasting his work with Western colonial modes of documentary filmmaking that can presume to document a place neither known nor understood.