Monday, 18 August 2008

cities that exist in movies

(10-31-07, revisited 8-18-08)

The rows of t-shirts in Primark in Swansea are all ideas--
Los Angeles, Miami, London. Anywhere-but-heres.

When I told Ian my flight schedule he laughed at me.
“New York into London, listen to you.”

These aren’t real cities, his face was saying—you’re in
a movie now. These are cities that terrorists hold up,
big, three-ring crime circuses, each block has its own
accent, each building is a signifier razored into the
collective subconscious via 70 years of onscreen magic.

Why so many teenage girls fall in love with Paris
without ever going there.
Why the Hollywood walk of fame looked so much
smaller and dirtier in person.
Why I sometimes daydream about Chicago.

The smaller cities exist in smaller movies or are given
bit parts in the bigger picture.
Fargo. Sleepless in Seattle. Twin Town. The band was
from Manchester but Ian Curtis was originally from
Macclesfield, you know.

We all want something for our place, but most
would rather not give away too much; there’s some
thing to be said for finding the diners yourself
or a view of a town you’ve never seen pictures of.
Sometimes I want to ask the people in New York
sweatshirts what their New York restaurant is
--see if they say “Frankie and Bennys,” sometimes
I want to ask the kid in the too-small “Witchita Future
Farmers” T how to properly saddle a horse.

If you can know anything from a postcard
or well-lit panoramic skyscape.
Even Sleepless in Seattle was filmed in Vancouver BC.


Howard said...

You're right about the Walk of Fame. It was rubbish.

Jake Tucker said...

I liked this. Especially the bit about seeing a city you've never seen in a postcard.