‘Hilary Powell’s fifteen-minute film ‘The Games’ stages a surreal Olympics amid the disorientating wasteland sites set to become the 2012 London Olympic Park. It documents a condensed competition of absurd sporting activities performed under guerilla conditions: discus-throwing with old car hub caps, trampolining on abandoned mattresses, weightlifting with tyres. Leaping over rubble and debris, the athletes overrun the decayed urban landscape of this forgotten part of London which stands poised on the brink of total transformation. It is about to be lost forever as the glass-and-steelification of London marches on apace, now shielded by a blue perimeter fence covered in sponsorship advertising. Powell obliquely passes comment on the real impact the 2012 Olympics, heavily marketed to Londoners as a Good Thing, has on our environment and communities. When Hackney’s wasteland is appropriated and transformed into a glossy Olympic Village, what will become of its histories and memories? Powell’s film takes a humorously subversive look at the psychogeography of this area by projecting the future into the past.’ Ali McGilp. Art Vehicle.
The Games won Audience Award at the East London Film Festival 2008 and is available to view in the BFI Mediatheque as part of the ‘London Calling’ collection. First co-commissioned by Urbis, Manchester for the exhibition Play: Experience the Adventure of our Cities, it has screened widely on BBC Big Screens, Hackney Museum,Abandon Normal Devices, Animate Projects, Beyond Media: Archive, Visions. International Architecture Videos, Visions in the Nunnery, Bow Arts Trust, East on Screen, The Lift, Stratford Park, First, London East Research Institute, Canary Wharf Film Festival, Chisenhale Biennale, NLA RIBA Architecture Week, Rolling Stock Festival, Land of Kings and back in the communities who helped make it happen from Clays Lane Housing Estate to Manor Garden Allotments and more recently on the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
‘It’s a wacky, audacious, often rather beautiful comedy satirising Riefenstahlian pomposity’ Peter Bradshaw. A real Olympian Vision. The Guardian.