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London has always been a source of influence, inspiration and curiosity. Paul Kelly and Kieran Evans’ FINISTERRE tries to identify the dreams that London holds for so many, and the reality of the city — the spaces between the landmarks, the spaces Londoners inhabit.
Presented and scored by Saint Etienne, the film takes us on a journey from the suburbs into the heart of the city over an imaginary 24 hours. Along the way we hear from characters that have influenced or been a part of the Saint Etienne story. FINISTERRE features the observations and reminiscences of Lawrence from Felt/Denim, Mark Perry, the editor of original punk fanzine Sniffin’ Glue, as well as Vic Godard from Subway Sect and artist Julian Opie, folk singer Vashti Bunyan, London-centric author Shena Mackay, and Nick Sanderson from Earl Brutus. Through the interviews and imagery we see London from an insider’s perspective. The result is a hymn to London, and an extraordinary record of the city today.
One of the most important groups to emerge from Britain in the early 1990s, Saint Etienne first turned the music scene back to the pop aesthetic of the ’60s, combining it with danceable club beats. In 1990, they released their debut single, a cover of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, which became a massive club hit, priming fans for the 1992 debut album, “Fox Base Alpha”. The album was a hit and several other singles followed. They have subsequently gone on to release over ten albums. Their latest, “Tales from Turnpike House”, was recently released in the UK by Sanctuary Records.
Paul Kelly has been working closely with Saint Etienne for several years designing much of their artwork, directing a number of promos and even enjoying a spell as guitar player in the live touring band. Alongside this he has designed sleeves for artists including The Vines, Felt, Nada Surf and Beth Orton. As a photographer he has shot artists including Primal Scream, Doves, Death in Vegas and The 22-20s.
Kieran Evans has been directing short films, documentaries and promos for over ten years. His work has been seen at the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, Resfest and onedotzero. He has directed promos for Death in Vegas, Nada Surf, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Kylie, Echoboy and David Gray. His experiments with digital film-making techniques have led to commissions on broadcast projects for the BBC and Channel Four. He recently received funding to develop a feature film script with acclaimed author Niall Griffiths based on his book Kelly and Victor.
FINISTERRE was produced by CC-Lab.
45 minutes of extras: Audio commentary by Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs, Paul Kelly and Keiran Evans; Saint Etienne tour visual sequences featuring alternate footage, deluxe booklet with photos and essays by Bob Stanley, Michael Bracewell, Ken Livingstone, Pete Paphides, Sukhdev Sandhu, Gail O'Hara.More Info
"Enraptured by the possibilities the city offers for creating exhilarating forms of social and cultural life... FINISTERRE should serve as an inspiration to London Lovers everywhere."
-Sight & Sound
"Beauty, pathos, magic -- FINISTERRE, like the city it chronicles so lovingly, has it all."
**** [four stars] "A feature-length love letter to a pop-art metropolis. The camera's unequivocally seduced by the dazzle and the drizzle of the wonderland."