Architecture on Film: Property + Q&A

Activist-director and independent cinema trailblazer Penny Allen’s satirical docudrama tackles gentrification through an eccentric collective’s attempts to save their neighborhood by purchasing a residential Portland block. UK Premiere.


06:20pm, Monday, 17 January 2022


08:30pm, Monday, 17 January 2022


Cinema 1
Barbican Centre, Level -2
Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS



AF Members:
£9.60 (Please contact AF for promotional discount code)


Young Barbican:

Tel (9am-8pm):
+44 (0)20 7638 8891

Buy Tickets

Property [UK Premiere]

After a lot of nine home goes up for sale – in a historically African American neighborhood now home to a diverse mixture of Black families and countercultural newcomers – its soon-to-be-evicted residents attempt to band together and collectively buy back their lives, after an idea sparked at a drunken birthday party. A part-time prostitute becomes the group’s agent, seeking to charm the bank and local government, whilst the reality of community organization and the group’s dreams encounter internal and external obstacles.

Allen has referred to the film as her "land-use movie about the urban situation". Adapted from her real life experience of a local community’s fight against their neighbourhood’s pending sale, demolition and erasure, and dramatized through bohemian local characters and members of the theatre troupe with whom Allen was working at the time, the film conjures, in fellow Oregon director Kelly Reichardt’s words: “A freewheeling adventure on the violence of economic relations; a genre for our time, yet born in another”.

A prize-winner at the first ever Sundance Film Festival in 1978, the film’s legacy to independent American cinema includes the introduction of a young Gus Van Sant (the film’s sound recordist) to Portland poet and Property protagonist Walt Curtis – whose book, Mala Noche, Van Sant would later adapt as his first feature.

An acutely playful and political timecapsule of 1970s social and cinematic ideas and ideals, Property talks directly to contemporary realities and crises – of speculation, community organisation and the fight for the city – and does so with verve, rye humour and a fierce manifestation of independence.

We are delighted that the UK premiere of Property will be followed by a conversation with its director, Penny Allen

(USA, 1978, Penny Allen, 92 mins)