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Why we should be critical of television’s love affair with Brutalism

Whether it's Bodyguard or Fahrenheit 451, Brutalist architecture can provide a dramatic setting on screen. But too many depictions ignore the complex reality of Britain's housing estates

By Owen Hatherley  

The Alton Estate has been used as a backdrop multiple times. Image: Stephen Richards, used under a Creative Commons license (learn more here)

Oh look, there it is again. A street of concrete ziggurats. So atmospheric. A decayed estate with walkways for the tracking shots. Grey towers on a lake, towers in a park. So Kubrick.

Watch a lot of British TV over the last few years and you’ll have spotted all of these, whether you were watching a coming of age drama set in 1980s Nottingham or the Troubles in 70s…

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