Another England: films by Maxy Neil Bianco & Michael Smith

LOCATION: Hartlepool & its environs

“What does it mean to belong to somewhere?”

Another England is a cycle of films by Maxy Neil Bianco and Michael Smith exploring a town on the edges of England, between land and sea. Hartlepool becomes a mythic place where mysterious coals wash up on the shores, misfits find spiritual connections in the edgeland wildlife among pylons and petrochemical works, herring gulls become angels, and boys ride horses through the surf. As our hyper-local guide, Bianco journeys deep into intimate moments that feel a privilege to watch, rather than voyeuristic or exploitative. Smith, a prodigal son returned after years of self-exile in London, views his hometown with fresh eyes, sharing our sense of wonder, while grappling with his sense of belonging.

These films are an essential portrait of a dying world caught in painstaking close-up. Watch them before it disappears.

If you enjoy these films, come and see Bianco and Smith’s latest work Stranger on the Shore: Three Films About the Weirdness of the English Seaside at The Social in London on 31st August, with Unofficial Britain’s editor Gareth E Rees reading a coastal story in support, along with Faber author Richard Milward and music by Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh.

Another England 1: Old Town

Another England 2: Granada

Another England 3: Black Beach

Another England 4: Blue Lagoon

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

Maxy Neil Bianco is a film-maker who lives and works in Hartlepool. His previous films include Can House and a commission for Channel 4’s Random Acts.

Michael Smith is a novelist (Faber), broadcaster (The Culture Show) and filmmaker.

More Articles for You

The Incident of the Blindfolded Hypnotist and the Ilford Car Crash

Dan Carney tells the little-known tale of a very unusual car crash in 1977

The Sperm Whale and the Volvo 245

WORDS & PICTURES: Peter Riley – this is an extract from his book, Strandings (Profile Books, 2022) When I was …

A High Speed Car Tour of the Tennent’s Brewery, 1986

LOCATION: Glasgow WORDS: Gareth E. Rees From the 1960s until the 1980s, my late grandfather, George Wright, was a sales …

Ghosts of the Motorway

A haunting new video for a modern motorway ballad evokes memories of journeys past

Abandonment, Trespass and Flood: Unofficial Britain’s Strange & Unsettling Reads of 2021

Gareth E. Rees with his annual list of books about landscape, memory and culture

In Memoriam Ian Rawes: A Tribute to The London Sound Surveyor

Ben Thompson remembers the work of a major figure in UK field recording