Friday, April 28, 2006

Tales of London

I started on my evening course last night, entitled Tales of London, which looks at the city of London as it is used in fictional narrative. The course seems to be very interesting, and from the intros done last night it seems that everyone there has this real enthusiasim for this city which is great. We have to read one of three novels, Brick Lane by Monica Ali, Affinity by Sarah Waters or Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens. I read Brick Lane last year and thoroughly enjoyed it as the narrative is told from the perspective of a migrant to London. I think I will tackle Affinity as I am not sure I can handle a huge Dickens novel at the moment.

Last night we looked at the River Thames and the various ways it is used in film narrative, some of the examples looked at included The Filth and The Fury; Hitchcock's Frenzy and the David Lean version of Great Expectations. The river is used as part of the narrative in all of the films: in Frenzy the opening sequence is a speech about the cleaning up of the river just a dead body is found floating in or in Great Expectations as a means of escape for Pip and Abel. The shot of Tower Bridge was present in many of the clips and it is an iconic image that firmly places you in the city of London. Next week we look at public and private spaces in the city.


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