• Jgrenoir_11_mg_7667

    Jake Green: The Renoir

Photography

Photography: We chat to Jake Green about his series in new Printed Pages

Posted by Rob Alderson,

The modern cinema-going experience can be somewhat soul-destroying. Too often you find yourself in a sticky-floored multiplex where any sense of film as an art form is stripped back to lowest common denominator blockbusters. But the UK has a fine heritage of interesting, unusual and important cinemas, relics of a lost age where film’s place in the social and cultural pecking order was very different. In the latest issue of Printed Pages, photographer and filmmaker Jake Green takes us inside London’s Renoir cinema, a last longing look around a space on the brink of being refurbished. We caught up with him to find out a little more.

Get your copy of Printed Pages for just £4 here.

When did you first become aware of this cinema?

Oddly I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of The Renoir, importantly it has always had a big association with The Brunswick Centre. It’s not like I grew up near there, but I have a vivid memory of seeing pictures of The Brunswick Centre in an architecture book my dad had. 

What made you want to document it before it was refurbished?

A friend of mine (and former It’s Nice That assistant editor) Bryony Quinn was working there and told me it was being refurbished, invited me to visit and asked if I’d be interested in documenting it. 

I was attracted by the end-of-an-era feel and capturing something for the last time. The aim was to produce an observational film of an iconic space before it was lost.

“Filming was almost meditative – watching and feeling the emptiness of those spaces, it was a very calming experience.”

Jake Green

What was the process of working in that space like? As a filmmaker did the experience of working in a cinema like this have added poignancy?

It was a very quiet space; not many people around, very different to the bright and garish multiplexes. Filming was almost meditative – watching and feeling the emptiness of those spaces, it was a very calming experience. Being in a large dark cinema by yourself can also make you feel very small and very alone. That space has a real history, so I felt a pressure to do it justice.

What were the biggest challenges in trying to capture this space?

It was very difficult working out how to give life to a building that was so empty, movement to a building without any severe camera movements. I wanted the cinema and space to slowly reveal itself. I really enjoy static shots, but it was hard to get the timing right.

Tell us a bit about the wider project this shoot is part of…

The Renoir is one of five films shot for a project called 32LDN founded by Simon Poon Tip. The aim is to create 32 films about people and places in London. It’s fundamentally a celebration of London and an observation of the people and places that inspire us. Simon and I are both born and bred Londoners and we had an almost immediate bond over our love for London and a need to express our appreciation of it. 

  • Jgrenoir_09_mg_7637

    Jake Green: The Renoir

  • Jgrenoir_03_mg_7514

    Jake Green: The Renoir

  • Jgrenoir_17_mg_7833

    Jake Green: The Renoir

  • Jgrenoir_04_mg_7590

    Jake Green: The Renoir

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Phlist

    It’s about time we featured photographer Peter Hapak on our site; his portraits have sure graced the pages of many a prestigious publication. His portfolio is the photographic equivalent of a box of Quality Street; not only packed with famous faces, but also cracking clients like TIME, The New York Times Magazine and The Times. In case you were wondering, he doesn’t exclusively work for publications with “time” in the title – he shot an Emmy portfolio for Variety earlier this year. Born in Hungary and no less than a fourth generation photographer, Peter has a timeless (sorry, couldn’t resist) style, finding something in these familiar faces which hasn’t quite been captured before. Thankfully, unlike a tin of everyone’s favourite Christmas chocolates, the treats in Peter’s portfolio seem to last forever. Feast your eyes, my friends.

  2. Dbglist

    We’ve posted before about how David Brandon Geeting creates striking images of seemingly ordinary objects and revitalises the age old still life. With these shiny new photographs, he bumps the beauty up to another level of aesthetic glee. Hyper-colourful, vibrant and sharp, these images are meticulously crafted compilations of – well – stuff. But looked at through David’s lens this stuff is seen in all its glory; never has a pepper looked so brilliantly, crunchily, juicily red, or a rubber glove so squeakily, summery yellow. This is a man who clearly delights in design – if I was a banana, I’d want David to take my picture.

  3. List

    I’m not sure how well Only Fools And Horses translates as a cultural reference point to our international readers; there’s something quintessentially British about the sitcom featuring a get-rich-quick ducker and diver in his (pre-trendy) Peckham flat. But young London-based photographer Nadia Lee Cohen took Del Boy’s now-iconic home – with its charming hodge-podge of faux sophisticated stylings – and used it as the backdrop for this slightly unsettling shoot. Nadia’s work has a very pronounced slick, shiny and colour-saturated aesthetic that fits this slightly odd narrative perfectly – this mysterious femme fatale seems at one moment confidently at home in Del Boy’s surroundings, at others slightly bewildered. It’s weird, and I love it.

  4. Boy7list

    Shot at his house in Brooklyn, New York, David Armstrong’s series 615 Jefferson Avenue creates an aura of mysticism around the young male models. Some are muscular, some are boyish, but they all seem strangely ethereal. They exist in a world apart from the everyday; free from work, from worries, from the washing-up. Armstrong’s apartment is a wonderland of sorts, filled with masks, gilded mirrors and flower wreaths. His “muse,” Boyd Holbrook, even has pixie pink hair (although I suspect this particular Peter Pan left Neverland quite some time ago). For you, dear reader, we’ve picked a selection of portraits which are free from bed sheet, ruff and top hat.

  5. Main

    Where is the limit of what the camera can capture? Can the paranormal be pictured? So asks Alexander Gehring’s series Messages from the Darkroom, exploring photography’s ability to portray paranormal phenomena.

  6. Main8

    With over 600,000 snap happy visitors a year, you can imagine that Elvis Presley’s infamous Graceland mansion is pretty well documented. But it takes someone truly special to photograph something famous and still make it seem brand new, which is why we’re glad that Hedi Slimane – lover of rock and roll, and young, good-looking, rebellious men – took a trip to Elvis’ Memphis home late last year and brought his camera along.

  7. Main

    Stripped of snow, Ettore Moni’s alpine landscapes are scarred by access roads, crisscrossing electricity wires and ski lift cables. The raw beauty of his scenes is interrupted by ugly concrete buildings, plastic fencing and piles of pipes. If Maria and the von Trapps came skipping over these mountains, the sound of music would hit a rather discordant note.

  8. List

    This time last year Sam Bradley had just moved up to London to concentrate on his fashion photography – which we have to say, he was pretty damn good at. This year he’s still busy working away on fashion editorials, including a lovely shoot for the latest Wonderland, but he’s been getting outside a lot more, shooting mountaineers, skateboarders and racing drivers in a style so crisp you feel almost able to reach out and touch the scenes he’s captured. I’ll admit a certain bias towards photographers working in nature – I go mad for a mountain view – but Sam’s managed to make even tedious, high-budget motorsports look exciting and unusual, for which he deserves an enormous amount of praise.

  9. List

    When Rapha launched their brand ten years ago they did it with an exhibition on cycling history and a book that documented some of the greatest stars and stories of competitive road racing. The book showed candid shots of legendary riders like Fausto Coppi hanging out in his pyjamas and Bernard Hinault in a grump on the train, exposing these famous gents out of the saddle, carrying on like normal human beings. To celbrate their tenth anniversary Rapha have re-printed and re-released the book (no long out of print) upping the print and finish quality in the process. The results, we think you’ll agree, look pretty spectacular!

  10. Main8

    Whether catching a glimpse of a funeral ceremony over a black-clad shoulder or seeing young boys play football in dappled sunlight, Noah Rabinowitz’s beautiful images truly make you feel like you’re observing something intimate, something special.

  11. Pino

    Dino Ignani spent the early 1980s in many a “discoteche o video-bar" capturing the “dark” wave. From hanging out in cafés and bars with artists in Rome, he began to follow these newcomers with big barnets and kohl a-plenty to music events and club nights. He would create an ad-hoc set, and invite everyone there to have their portrait taken. The result is an enormous gallery of 400 images, mostly black and white, wonderfully random and totally intriguing. Who are these people?

  12. List

    For an image maker whose craft relies on capturing light to take all of his photographs by moonlight might seem a little impertinent, but Alejandro Chaskielberg doesn’t seem to care about following any preconceived ideas. The Buenos Aires-born photographer has fully replaced lighting equipment with the natural environment by taking images by the light of the full moon. His technique comes as a breath of fresh air to those familiar with photographic projects which aim to muster sympathy for subjects living in underprivileged areas; this is something else else entirely.

  13. List

    Belgian photographer Wouter Van de Voorde started out as a painter in his homeland before discovering that photography offered him more of the creative freedom and opportunity for introspection than his original medium. Since taking up photography he’s exiled himself to Autralia where he uses his outsider status as a driver for creative expression, exploring the quirks and nuances of Australian culture and landscape in the hope of creating a sense of belonging through his work.