Ilta Sanomat 23.4.09

TV supplement of Ilta Sanomat 23.4.09 (largest selling Finnish tabloid)

Pick of the Day

Own Feel on London What travel programme would not promise to take the TV tourist to places no-one has seen before. When the promise is genuine, it means inaccessible exoticism. The viewers have no chance to see for themselves whether the programme contents hold water. A unique promise neither usually means an individual view of the subject matter, which in the case of London is familiar to many. The six-part Dave’s London is an exception to the rule. Despite the English language name, this is a Finnish production. Dave is a journalist (David Mawby) in YLE’s foreign department. He has lived in Finland for over 20(sic) years. Understandably Dave’s longing for home is part of his view on London. In addition Dave longs for his youth in the sixties and the music of that period. In the first episode, Dave travels, for instance, to a deserted tube station, a pond dedicated to model boating and to behind the gates of Highgate Cemetery. Dave claims that photography is forbidden in Highgate Cemetery. At least, Peter Von Bagh got in when he made his 1983 documentary “A Day at Karl Marx’s Grave.” If Dave’s London was a pure English production, the slip could be forgiven but a Finnish programme should remember who went before. Often Dave stands alone in Johnson Brice’s photography as if London was thinly populated. However, we do meet Londoners as they come before the camera to describe their eccentric pastimes. Jonathan Price’s production moves forward quickly but unhurriedly from place to place. Dave does not lecture. He leaves a lot unsaid and does it in a charming fashion. Then it’s no problem that Dave has a tendency to place emphasis on the things he likes and finds fascinating.

- Matti Linnavuori