01 December 2010

Hell is a City. Just not this one.

So many posts in one week! I must have free time on my hands!

Not really, but I do have a lot of assignments that I don't want to do until I've had a full night's sleep, which won't happen until the weekend.

Anyway, more snow today! And it doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Apart from very slippy sidewalks, it's all rather beautiful. Though it's colder, I like it better than rain. I stared out the window during class today, daydreaming about Gilmore Girls and watching the snowflakes wander about.

First off, I need to send out a quick thank-you! I had to do a presentation last week, and thanks to the Varners, it went off without a hitch. I presented on Time and the Other, a book by Johannes Fabian, all about how anthropologists define their subjects as being people who live in a different time. During my presentation, I intended to read out three quotes from the book, and I didn't want to be one of those presenters who's like, "Oh, wait, it was on page... um... 36, so ok [running finger down page] where was it... Ah!"

And Jeremy and Katie had only recently sent me several office supply-type bits and bobs for me birthday, which was lucky for me, because I needed something to make the page easy to find and something to mark out the quotes for me.

Because I presented facing the class, my teacher could sort of see over my shoulder, and she LOVED the post-its. Bookmark worked a dream, too.

The quote I'm pointing out there, by the way, is like so: "Radical naturalisation of time (i.e., its radical dehistorization) was of course central to the most celebrated scientific achievement of that period, the comparative method, that omnivorous intellectual machine permitting the "equal" treatment of human culture at all times and in all places." (Fabian 1983: 16). Yeah, I know. You totally wish you could have heard my presentation.

I saw two movies last week, as well. Chico and Rita, which is not at all worth the digital space it takes up in the world (just buy the soundtrack when it comes out). And I saw Hell Is A City, which is awesome.

Shot in 1960, in Manchester, it's a black and white film noir, with a smart, flawed detective, a beautiful, confused, mixed-up with criminals dame, and a whole lot more interesting characters than that, too. The movie itself is a great addition to the film noir canon. Given that I'm living in Manchester, though, the exciting bit to me was trying to see places I've walked by.

Of course, the city's changed so much since 1960, most of it was entirely unrecognizable to my novice eye that was also trying to watch the acting and keep the plot straight as well.

 (image from Cornerhouse website)

 But as shown above, there's a chase scene on the roof of the Palace Hotel, which is right in the Oxford Rd– across the street from Cornerhouse, the cinema that played the film!! It was amazing to recognize, in an old movie shot 50 years ago, the same building I walk by every day. Back then, that building held an insurance company.

I guess people in NY and LA feel like this all the time, and living in Sydney, I got used to reality shows using the CarriageWorks for a backdrop. But Manchester's not quite got the same profile as a city, and it was a delight to see it on the big (well, relatively small) screen at the (arthouse, independent) cinema. Stanley Baker's no slouch either.

I'll try to take a photo of the Palace Hotel from the ground for ya sometime. Oh, and all you design-types: check out the poster here.

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