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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008
    Return of the 50-foot spider

    The people in the end house here are getting cable installed for Christmas. I might have to get round there on Christmas night because that's when Sky Arts are broadcasting the documentary Spider in the City: La Machine in Liverpool. It should be good because it's produced by Illuminations who do lots of good art films (I've got DVDs of their showcases of Tracey Emin, Hamish Fulton, and of course Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit's London Orbital). On their blog John Wyver says that Spider in the City turned out to be 'as much a performance film of the event as a documentary about its creation'.
    The film opens with some two minutes of Liverpool waking up to the spider on the side of the building; there's no narration, just the unfolding of the event on screen. Which is an aspiration that we've kept for other major sequences -- you simply watch the spider, and wonder.
    Simply watching and wondering: that's what half a million of us did during the spider's journey through our streets in September. If the film captures just a small flavour of the awe-inspiring nature of the Capital of Culture year's most popular event then it'll be well worth watching. Lobby them (as I and others have) to bring it out on DVD.

    Pic by Ian Serfontein from Illuminations website