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Tales from the Two Puddings - East End Film Festival 2016

Thursday 23 June 2016, by Anne-Sophie Marie

Based on its landlord’s memoirs (Tales From The Two Puddings by Eddie Johnson), Rob West’s documentary focuses on the iconic East End pub’s trend-setting quirks, its links to 1960s legendary characters such as the Kray twins, Harry Redknapp and David Essex, and its influence on the Barry Keefe classic The Long Good Friday.

Between super 8 footage and 60s tunes, the film ignites a common nostalgia 1960s Stratford, that we see deeply transformed within seconds, sad that we won’t be able to stop by the iconic venue for a pint and a good cover band onour next night out, and longing for a London many of us have probably never known, full of men in custom-made suits spending boxing clubs, a far cry from today’s raw-vegan- everything-free- wheatgrass-chia smoothie fuelled treadmill aficionado.

One of the interviewees, Eddie Johnson’s Matt speaks about the birth of his vocation and successful musical career growing up at the Two Puddings, while writer Barry Keefe recalls listening to infamous patrons, likely muses for The Long Good Friday.

While theatre icon Joan Littlewood and painter Francis Bacon are also mentioned, the documentary shares stories of more unfortunate patrons, the pub’s name itself linked to the neighbourhood’s homeless.

While lacking some of the technical pizzazz other documentaries often offer us now, this reminder of what a neighbourhood can be and of the influence a soulful local business can have on its patrons is worth a thousand glossy aerial shots.

3/5

Tales from the Two Puddings is screened as part of the East End Film Festival at Stratford Picturehouse on 25 June. More info here.

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