• 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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. List-2

    I’m sure there are plenty of documentary photographers for whom going to Brazil to capture the World Cup would be something of a dream, but as far as I’m concerned none of them even come close to the exceptional Jane Stockdale. After having her application to photograph the crowds watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow turned down three times, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and jumped on a plane to Brazil to shoot audiences there instead.

  7. List

    Colombian-born, Spanish-based photographer Manuel Vazquez was an economics student before he decided to make his living from image-making. A quick transfer to Spain, some courses at New York’s School of Visual Arts and a Masters in Photography and Urban Cultures at Golsmiths later and he’s quite the photographic talent. The economy’s loss is photography’s gain. Now he shoots regularly for the likes of The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times and The British Journal of Photography predominantly taking slick portraits.

  8. Main

    You don’t get much better than an award-winning National Geographic photographer, unless of course it’s one that spends most of his time underwater snapping away at enormous whales. Parts of this series make me want to cry, others make me want to jump for joy at the wonders of nature, but mostly they make me want to shit my pants with terror. Imagine being underwater, where man is not supposed to dwell, and being in the company of a prehistoric beast with a mouth as big as a 4×4, imagine how scared you’d be. One flip of its tail could probably shatter your legs. Anyway, the point here really is that one-time Photographer of the Year Brian Skerry is not only excellent at being brave in the presence of beasts, he’s also a superb photographer with composition skills and a knack of capturing wildlife with a flair that evokes raw emotion in you. Don’’t forget to check out his sharks series. If you dare.

  9. Main9

    Thomas Rousset and Raphaël Verona’s Waska Tatay is fairly ambiguous at first glance. The cover is a simple yellow-to-blue fade with the title placed inconspicuously on the spine; but the content is altogether more arresting. Using a mixture of reportage and staged portraiture the photo book documents the pair’s trip to the Altiplano region of Bolivia and their encounters with witch doctors, spiritual healers and medicine men; uncovering the rites and rituals of these ancient orders and illuminating some of their extraordinary mythologies.

  10. List

    Every year thousands of gloomy-looking characters descend on Whitby, a British seaside town that’s steeped in folklore and literary heritage. Bram Stoker set parts of Dracula there, Robin Jarvis created a mysterious series of children’s books on its streets and a ruined abbey stands at the top of one of its cliffs, maintaining a physical, eerie presence on moonlit nights – and those goths just can’t get enough.They host an annual goth weekend which this year photographer Annie Collinge decided to document, stopping the black-clad revellers on the streets and in graveyards to pose for her potraits. The resulting images offer a fantastic snapshot of one of the most longstanding genres of alternative culture, though I say that with bias, as I used to be one. “Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

  11. Main9

    I hope everyone got involved in a mosh pit at some stage during their adolescence, it’s a rite of passage as important as – if not moreso than – your first kiss. Fun and life-changing as it is, cool it is not, and so this strange, sweaty, somewhat folkloric activity tends not to be photographed in favour of adult versions of something similar at grown-up festivals and the like. Good on Emily Stein, then, for having the balls to just dive in with those sweating teenagers and take photos of them at their wildest and most passionate. Some photos are close-up enough that you can even see their faint beginnings of wispy facial hair. Wonderful stuff.

  12. List-3

    There are fashion photographers, and then there are fashion photographers who have pioneered the very definition of the genre, branching out and experimenting where others wouldn’t even dare to tread and doing so 20 odd years before their time. Hans Feurer is such a one. Born in Switzerland in 1939, he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and art director before deciding to take up photography during a trip to Africa.

  13. Main

    Harley Weir’s strikingly organic compositions seem to be made out of the same colour and textures as an Egon Schiele painting. Her photographs are mysterious and unguarded, and there is something very personal and pure about the way that she captures her subjects.