“London is All Waste”: Rubbish in Patrick Keiller’s Robinson Films


Mary Douglas’s classic study Purity and Danger states that “Whenever a strict pattern of purity is imposed on our lives it is either highly uncomfortable or it leads into contradiction if closely followed, or it leads to hypocrisy. That which is negated is not thereby removed” (163). This article discusses two films that focus on things that have been negated but not removed. London (1994) and Robinson in Space (1997), written and directed by Patrick Keiller, deal with problems of negation, exclusion, obscuring, discarding, and persistence. To highlight the importance of these themes and processes I will give a brief discussion of the films’ content and style.

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