Sunday, March 30, 2008

Get Carter

Considering that one of my motives in starting this blog was to prevent open space going under tarmac to make a car park, waxing sentimental over a distant view of one in Gateshead would seem a little odd. But I could not resist taking this shot.

This solid pile (reminiscent, I think, of a castle) has a local fame which rarely comes to any building by virtue of its 'role' in the British cult movie Get Carter (1971). Despite its age, this film regularly wins polls among serious film fans for being the toughest gangster film the UK has ever produced. Its reputation grows year on year, unaffected by a re-make which set the up dated plot in ... Las Vagas! If you have not seen the movie I won't spoil it for you by describing the scene where the then new multi storey is witness to a memorable piece of 'communication breakdown'.

I must confess to actually liking this example of Brutalist 60s ferro-concrete construction. However, plans are moving ahead to demolish it. I regret this move. The Brutalist style is frequently the subject of condemnation and has never been popular in Britain at least; shades of Gothic Revival architecture. Unloved, the building has not been given the kind of care and attention it required.

Battlefield has great views across the Tyne gorge at this point, helped by the bareness of the winter trees.

Information about 'Get Carter' can be found on these web sites (amongst many others).

Details of the plot for those who have not seen the original movie

[Dead link removed 11.2012]

Profile of Get Carter director Mike Hodges

[Dead link removed 11.2012]

Includes a profile of the 'Demon Tower' multi storey car park

For those with an interest in architectural history here are links for Brutalism and the history of the Gateshead multi-storey

[Dead link removed 11.2012]

Footnote 11.2012: Internet links do not stay live for long it seems. However, those of you who are interested can simply search using the same terms I did. Best Wishes, A.D.

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