This film is part of Free

Aspects of Guildford

Enjoy John Cant's sardonic visual essay about the historic town of Guildford - where dereliction is contrasted with richly historical vignettes and a pancake race

Amateur film 1983 9 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


We start at Guildford's railway station where older buldings and office blocks are being torn down to make way for a new vernacular. Following a montage of building society and estate agent shop-fronts we see Guildhall's three hundred year-old clock along with a noisy Town Crier. He is followed by a musical trio in 17th century garb playing period instruments to a crowd in the street below. The film ends on a frivolous note with a pancake race by staff of the Angel Hotel.

John Cant explains that he deliberately left this film without a commentary, leaving the viewer to interpret what they had seen for themselves. Unfortunately, this decision led to some misunderstandings. In one instance the film was withdrawn from an amateur film-making competition because the organisers couldn't understand what John was trying to communicate in his film.