How We Used to Live *****Dir: Paul Kelly. With the voice of Ian McShane. 70 mins. Cert: NC. Opens June 10
This is becoming a cherishable trend: choice selections from the National Film Archive, dusted off and given renewed vigour through being presented in collaboration with the musically minded. Here, Paul Kelly (Lawrence of Belgravia) assembles a collage-history of London from uncertain post-War solidarity to the coming of the yuppie. Where Julien Temple’s London: The Modern Babylon scrapbooked with typical punk energy, Kelly cultivates a woozy-hazy feel that befits the soundtracking Saint Etienne: he slows down to observe life at street level before filling our heads with escapist notions (nights on the town, a glimpse of Tarby in Jack and the Beanstalk). Again, we’re nudged into playing that pleasurable but also socially useful game of spotting what’s gone and what remains the same, yet any editorial is ventured with a tremendous lightness of touch: the final movement, in particular, is as lovely as anything Kelly and his band of dreamers have ever signed their names to.
How We Used to Live opens in selected cinemas from Tuesday.