Thursday, 5 June 2014

Assessing the value of things

This is going to be a series of blog posts about my move on to a narrowboat and my experience.

I’m moving onto a canal boat. It has been an ambition of mine for many years to own and live on one, and now it looks like I am going to get the chance to try it.

I am not coming to this completely blind, I have been hiring boats for over ten years, many of the weeks being in October time. This boat comes with a residential mooring, so I am not going to have some of the issues that a continuing cruiser is likely to get, especially in winter.

As I prepare to make the move, one of the key things which I have to do is a serious amount of downsizing. I don’t travel light, I haven’t for a long time – it takes several van loads to move me. I can’t do that with the boat, so I have to really cut down the amount of stuff that I have. This is more challenging than the last time I moved as I have also been acquiring stuff from my parents.

So I have made a start with things just in my bedroom. At the moment there are three piles – rubbish/recycling, selling/give away and items to keep. It is roughly split into thirds, although this is will probably change in the coming weeks, but it is a good start. I spent three hours this evening just sorting through paperwork, and managed to get rid of two boxes full of paper! It is feeling quite liberating. I have a lot more to do and it will get harder but I think long term it will be a good thing to have done. In fact it was something I was going to have to do this year even if I wasn’t moving.

Peter J. Knight’s photostream

Bradford Widescreen Weekend 2012 – Entry 6 (Final Entry)

I write this entry from a (sunny) train heading back to London, on the Monday morning, and is largely my reflection from the weekend. It has been a fantastic weekend, especially as it was my first experience of Cinerama. I am really pleased that I made the effort to attend, and would urge all cinema enthusiasts to make the trip at least once (Bradford being one of only a handful of sites in the world which is still able to run Cinerama).

After watching the Cinerama Adventure documentary yesterday, I feel that I really get Cinerama, the experience and why people got so excited about it and why there is such an enthusiasm for it still 60 years later. A large part of what I felt and thought is summed up in that documentary. But a lot of it is in the historical context in which the technique was launched, and what it became. And of course people need to remember that as a 33 year old, who only ‘got into cinema’ at the age of 18 (so that’s a 100 years of film and cinema technology I have to get up to speed with), I have always had large screens and impressive effects and sound in the visits I have made so Cinerama will not provide the same wow factor as it did 60 years ago when it was released. However, I am not slating it in anyway, I get it, I understand why it was so amazing and so great, I appreciate it and am excited about it (now I’ve seen it) and will go and research it more and become an equally large enthusiast as anyone else.

There are a number of things which struck me about the whole Cinerama thing, especially as I have grown up with Multiplex cinemas (they arrived to the UK when I was 7 and I was 19 before I actually visited one), but I have always had big screens and visiting Screen 1 of the Empire Leicester Square with its massive screen and the IMAX is that on the size of screen which I was looking at Cinerama on was tiny in comparison. However, I except that the Pictureville is not an original Cinerama building and what is does is to allow a medium which would otherwise not be possible to show anywhere else in the UK to still exist. I am therefore willing to use my imagination, but non the less you just don’t quite get the full effect of what Cinerama was really like.

What I love and really appreciate is the play in and play out sequences of music which appear on every film and the Intermission. It struck as something which was borrowed from the Theatre world and offered a real opportunity for some showmanship in the presentation. I really liked them and would love to see them make a return on modern films – it could be done with some creative imagination so that they still worked, although of course the end credits are much much shorter than on todays films – maybe there is an argument for returning to that style, especially as there is the internet and IMDB which is the main resource for that sort of information.

I would dearly love to know more about the mobile side of Cinerama, the one which went around Europe and whatever happened to the trucks – wouldn’t it be amazing to restore those and take them out on the road again – apart from anything you could share the magic of Cinerama to the masses once again and is something which still hasn’t been achieve again in recent years (although I would love to!).

What the event has done, however is given me some new ideas to see if I can achieve a modern version of Cinerma and a whole new enthusiasm for showmanship, watch out for a number of new hair brain ideas!

And so finally, I feel that it is only right to point people in the direction of more information and content on this area, so below are a small selection of links: