Centre for Creative Media Research > Video Critical

Brudenell Primary School:
Photographs and description of the video

The edited video (12 minutes 29 seconds):

To the opening titles, we see scenes of life in the Hyde Park area of Leeds, including people visiting shops, a scrap collector with horse and cart, and the children walking the terraced streets, then returning with video equipment through the school gates.

We are greeted by Vinesh, who happily introduces us to the school. Jing-Dan then shows us the previous school's ornamental girls' and boys' entrance headers, which are now preserved in the brickwork of the new: 'This old stone symbol reminds us of the past, so it's nice to have this still stand here'.

On a street near the school, Jing-Dan tells us the history of the local Botanical and Zoological Gardens, built on land donated by Lord Cardigan and Lady Brudenell, and opened in 1840, but closed within ten years. In turn, Sophie, Fergus, Jing-Dan, and Imran show us old maps from different periods, showing how the land around the gardens has changed and developed.

Then we cut to Imran outside the old bear pit (now the only remaining part of the Gardens), which he explains. We see other shots of the site, including a sign describing its history, whilst we hear the children's views. Jing-Dan: 'Do you think that keeping a bear in a bear pit was a good idea?'. Vinesh: 'No, because it's being cruel to the animals'. Sophie: 'I think it was a bad idea, because it's not nice to the bears'.

Vinesh and then Asim tell us about the fountain and lake, which we can no longer see. Josiah tells us that the gardens were built near to a station, so that people could visit by train. 'Before the gardens were built, there's all fields and oak trees, and not as many houses as seen today, and Headingley was a quiet place. Leeds City Council planted some oak trees in nowadays, to remind us of the past'.

To music, we see a long shot of the station from a bridge over the line, and then from the platform we see a train pull in, deposit and collect some passengers, then pull away. Sophie: 'This is the Burley train station. It's partly good and it's partly bad. It's good because it takes a lot of people and it doesn't use up much pollution. And I don't like it because it's smelly and it uses pollution'.

In school, Josiah asks Imran, 'Do you like your community?'. He replies, 'Yes, very much'. Josiah: 'What different people live in your area?'. Imran, smiling: 'Lots of different people'.

We cut to Vinesh, interviewing a man painting wood in a builder's yard. They have a leisurely chat which reveals that the man likes the area. Then we cut to Nagina, who shows us 'Vinesh's dad's friend's shop'.

Next we see Imran before a sunlit building: 'Now we are at Hyde Park cinema, in Queen's Road. People go to Hyde Park cinema because they watch films. I sometimes go to Hyde Park cinema because I live next to it'. Jing-Dan tells us a little more about it, concluding, 'So, it's quite good'.

Vinesh is standing in front of a mass of bill posters stuck to the side of a building. 'The posters on this wall doesn't look, make it look very nice. And it doesn't make it look very nice because there's all litter on the streets and road. There are lots of houses for sale, and this road is a very busy road too [...] And I don't like the idea of the posters'.

A little further along, Vinesh has found some graffiti. 'This is also very messy. People writing on the walls. I think that is a very bad thing.' He looks plaintive: 'Why are they doing this to our world?'.

In school, Vinesh asks Sophie, 'What do you think of the environment?'. She replies, 'I think our environment's very polluted, and I don't like it very much'. Vinesh asks Jing-Dan: 'What do you think about pollution?'. He says, 'It makes a dirty area for us'. Then Jing-Dan asks, 'What about the litter in the street?'. Vinesh: 'Well it doesn't make our streets look nice, and it's horrible'.

End titles, with shots of each of the children, and some local scenery. After the music, Vinesh, being interviewed, appears and says thoughtfully, 'It was fun to make a video'.

The text and images on this site are by David Gauntlett, © 1997, 2004.
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