News / Film

A new film uses the Barbican estate at sunset to appreciate the beauty of Brutalism

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Joe Gilbert

A new film titled Golden Barbican explores the beauty of the Barbican estate in the golden hour to explore the beauty of London’s Brutalist architecture, filmed over six weeks. Film-maker Joe Gilbert, best known for his films The Invisible Streets which looks at last year’s demolition of east London’s Robin Hoods Gardens estate despite protests, and Grenfell and Aylesbury, about the demolition of the hallowed Peckham estate.

The film aims to explore the beauty of a social housing dream and post-war initiatives for regeneration and building. He says of the period, “What followed was cutting-edge design, with the purpose of making peoples lives easier and increasing their quality of life”. For Gilbert, in the modern context, where London is suffering a historic housing crisis, the beauty of the forms, rather than the ideals are all that remain.

Speaking about it he says, “I think the entire movement really represents an idea of a social utopia that never quite came to be. People often think buildings such as these are austere and ugly, but I believe they have been completely misrepresented. That’s why I decided to make this film. Making the film was an exercise in patience. Each shot is a unique sunset. Once I was happy with the composition, I’d have to wait up to an hour to capture an individual shot.”

Golden Barbican will be shown in film festivals internationally.

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Joe Gilbert

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Joe Gilbert

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Joe Gilbert

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Joe Gilbert