Architecture on Film: Unguided Tour (aka Letter From Venice), introduced by Brian Dillon

In writer Susan Sontag’s final film, Venice becomes stage and subject, in dialogue with a lovers’ weekend. Dancer Lucinda Childs stars as a tourist of melancholy, memory and fading romance.


07:00pm, Tuesday, 12 July 2022


08:45pm, Tuesday, 12 July 2022


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



AF Members:
£10.00 (Please contact AF for promotional discount code)


Under 18:

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

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This screening will be introduced by writer Brian Dillon, author of Suppose a Sentence (2020), Essayism (2017) and In the Dark Room (2005), Director of Creative Writing, Queen Mary, University of London.

Unguided Tour aka Letter From Venice [Giro Turistico Senza Guida]

Susan Sontag
’s adaption of her own short story for the screen creates cinema at the the intersection of Venice and the narrative, as her protagonist drifts through the end of an affair and ‘a city that even the Italians visit as if they were a foreigner’.

 The languid, deliberate steps of dancer and choreographer Lucinda Childs – the film’s anchor in the Venetian lagoon – set the film’s pace, as on screen dialogue and offscreen conversation blur present and future.

A city inhabited by buildings.
Buildings threatened with extinction.
A city that will disappear one day.
Our Titanic in slow motion.
– Susan Sontag, from Unguided Tour

Against the backdrop of a vacation in the floating city and its lingering past unfolds a relationship that will similarly soon be history, as a cipher for Sontag’s contemplation of seduction, melancholy and time. A tourism of both place and the mind, during a stroll through the landscapes of both Venice and memory.

(Susan Sontag, Italy 1983, 71 mins)

With thanks to Rai