Saturday, 23 January 2021

Hitchcock, Wind and A Night Train To Venice

 

I’ve missed last Big Gay Quiz because of work but I shall return to the zoom session next week.

Last night I did some research in the quiet corners of the shift and took a leaf out Rachel’s book and booked myself some online study lectures from London’s City Literary Institute   
And so over the next few weeks I shall be looking at the Spy Thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock and how the spy genre responded to changing political and cultural contexts as well as exploring The Wind In Film ( which strangely speaks for itself) 
I’m a bit tired of tv box sets and crap tv.
Anyhow all is now booked and debit card has been emptied yet again.

I’m also looking to book the night train from Paris to Venice for later in the year.....I’ll tick that fantasy of sleeping on a train very soon.......

57 comments:

  1. "later in the year" ... 2022 or 2023 I hope John. This year won't be safe, it really won't.

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    1. My daughter is desperate to see us we haven't seen her and the children in the flesh for two and a half years , she has booked a ferry for July and is threatening to row herself over , I must admit I am not optimistic .

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  2. Yes! Tick all the boxes!

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  3. Yorkshire Liz6:31 am

    That is going to be a very interesting course, with some great films. Like your illustration, North By Northwest. Try and view some of the online interviews with Hitchcock and his wife. Very revealing on the art of editing and the power of suggestion.....yes, far too much crap tv to be resisted. (Although if you like big blokes with big tackle, indulge in Trucking Hell and Highway To Hell. You may learn a lot about prop sgafts. Oh dear!)

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  4. Who knows, that may be you and your Mr Right on that night train! 🤞 xx

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  5. I don't want to give anything away to people who have yet to see the film, but where that train goes after Cary Grant kisses Eva Marie Saint may in itself be indicative of a changing cultural context.

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    1. To those who have missed the inference
      A shag

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  6. Sounds like an interesting course and a change from regular TV. I remember that the Paris to Venice night train was on your wish list, sounds exciting and Agatha
    Christie somehow exciting with out the usual murder.
    Hope travel will be safe and allowed at the end of the year

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  7. Can't believe it's taken you this long to look at the wind in films. You've looked at the wind from every other angle it seems.

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  8. ILike the idea of doing a few on line courses John - keep the old brain working.

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  9. Totally into romance in movies, but the real one. 💗 Then again, into spy movies and thrillers, too. 🙂

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  10. I like films, and novels. There's something about knowing that whatever the situation is, it will be resolved in a short space of time. If only real life were like that!

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  11. Anonymous11:53 am

    hi John you can do some online free courses with the Open University and also one where I have found topics that seem to be written just for me on Future learn, you only pay for a certificate if you want one...

    https://www.futurelearn.com/courses

    https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue

    Sol xx p.s. blogger wont let me sign in

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  12. What a wonderful resource Sol! I'm off to look at the offerings myself!

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  13. Paris to Venice sounds WONDERFUL, and you have had the vaccine - hope is on the horizon. I have never done an overnight train journey. I think I am old enough to take classes in the state University system, for free. Hmm, what should I study this time?

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  14. I have always wanted to do that train journey, but in daylight. The scenery is very interesting, I am told.

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    1. Yes, it is. It is best to overnight in Paris from London so that you can do the Paris to Venice in daylight with an early morning start. Oh, I just read John's post again and see he wants to do the night train. The scenery is good John and you would miss it.

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    2. I want to travel back by day train so would have the scenery on my return

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    3. I want to wake up in Italy

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  15. Back in 1989 my wife and I were living in France, just over the border from Geneva in Switzerland. A mutual friend was working with the British army in West Berlin and invited us to visit her for a few days. Getting to West Berlin was not easy but she arranged passage for us on the overnight French military train from Strasburg. We took the train to Strasburg and boarded the train along with a contingent of the French Foreign Legion and other passengers. We were told that the train would stop for a few hours overnight and we should not raise the blinds. The carriage was comfortable and like a less opulent Orient Express. The train trundled through the night and stopped in a siding as promised. I peeped through the crack at the edge of the blind. There were what looked like armed Soviet Russian troops keeping guard. After a few hours we set off and arrived at a station in West Berlin early in the morning. Our friend arrived late and was in an excited state, and not just to see us. It must have been the morning of the 10th of November 1989, the Beriln wall fell the evening before and, being on the train, we had no idea. A memory to last a lifetime.

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    1. Funny Graham...I, too, took the night train to West Berlin, but it was back in the first year after the wall went up--1962. Like you, we were told not to lift the blinds, but being a youngster at the time and waking up in the middle of the night, I did...and found myself nose to nose with a Russian soldier holding a large rifle (he was outside our compartment in the carriage hallway). Quickly closed it, but yes, very memorable and a heartbreaking trip at the time.

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    2. Groundbreaking memories both

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  16. There are free events, one off talks and workshops, offered by the National Gallery too. There is a talk on Durer coming up on February for instance if anybody is interested.

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    1. Let me who where the ones you’ve heard of ..I’m on a roll

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  17. I agree with Tom; that would be an even better trip in daylight.

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    1. On the way back it will be daylight
      Specifically I wanted to travel there at night

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    2. Best of both worlds, then...and certainly exciting to go to bed in Paris and wake up in Venice!

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  18. The quiz was fun, if a little long. Three hours in and my pea-brain was feeling decidedly mushy. My team and I came fourth.

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    1. Well done .....I shall return next week

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    2. I hope you don't mind the intrusion Mavis but did anyone take your fancy?x

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    3. I don't mind at all Flis. My fancy upped and flew away a decade ago, and despite there being some attractive men out there unless they clubbed me over the head and dragged me back to their cave I wouldn't dream of entertaining any shenanigans. X

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  19. sleeping on a train is fun; done it several times across america.

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    1. It’s a cinematic cliche , that’s one of the reasons why

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  20. Hope you get to take that trip. Have many wonderful memories of train trips across UK and Europe from 1950s onward. Some less favourable ones in the US (e.g. frequent WDC to NYC for business meetings).

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    1. I hope so too....it’s on my bucket list to do alone

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  21. I agree re 'box sets and crap tv'. Netflix & co don't really provide for interesting/obscure/independent cinema. You won't find a lot of film noir on the mainstream streaming services - just a lot of 'crash, bang, wallop' and 'wham, bang, thank you maam'...
    I used to travel a lot by train in Europe in the 80s via the interrail ticket. Sadly, I cannot recall a clinch such as the one in the picture using the couchettes on SNCF. No width to them for any 'action' - and they were always full of other do not disturb sleeping bodies.

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  22. Your dream trip is in the making. Train travel is outstanding. London (Waterloo) to Paris to Venice. Wonderful. Brussels to Bruges. Lovely.

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  23. That train trip is a wonderful thing to look forward to, John. Will you book one of those little rooms? I have always dreamed of doing that. Bon voyage!

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  24. I saw Joanna Lumley on the Trans Siberian Adventure tv programme and it was quite scary in parts x

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  25. Barbara Anne4:07 pm

    What a joy to keep on learning about things that interest you and occasionally learning something new.
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity.
    There is no cure for curiosity." - Ellen Parr
    I've traveled overnight on the Southern RR from Memphis to Richmond, VA but I was a child,traveling with my parents. It was wonderful being rocked to sleep.

    Hugs!

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  26. In case you didn't know, Hitchcock is the most copied director of all time.

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  27. Have always loved train travel, and sleeper trains in particular. Many moons ago my partner and I took the train from Beijing to Moscow. On day 4 or 5 we had a shower...quite something on a train.

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  28. I've taken a couple of sleeper trains, and they're always fun. Never from Paris to Venice, though! Will you need a tuxedo? :)

    Bravo to you for taking the online courses. That's an excellent idea in the midst of lockdown!

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  29. Enjoy your study lectures. Hitchcock films are amazing and I imagine the background on them would be even more amazing!
    I've always wanted to sleep on a train too. It sounds so romantic in a classic sort of way.

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  30. Very tired of TV in any way. Reading is good instead.

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  31. Anonymous11:09 pm

    I caught the sleeper from Preston to Inverness about 30 years ago, I remember feeling nauseous cleaning my teeth at the tiny sink and had to sit down. A bit like being on a boat. I had the bottom bunk and didn't think I'd sleep because I felt so queasy but did in fact have a good sleep. In the morning we were wakened by a knock on the door and given tea and biscuits. I doubt I'll ever do it again but it was an experience to remember.

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