Ships at the ends of streets…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s Captain Beefheart quote is – ‘And the pantaloon duck, white goose neck, quacked…’
(Golden Birdies)

DSCN2946Here’s a photo I took a month or two ago. The light was a bit strange that day; it was rather overcast, but with a band of clear sky at the horizon. The effect was that the picture came out looking almost monochrome black and white, but with muted splashes of colour on the road, the blue shed, and the ship at the end of the street. That fluorescent red stripe on the bridge of the ship was certainly doing its job – I think the thing that attracted my eye was that all the perspective lines of the road and buildings pointed to it…*
I like to see a ship at the end of a street! I grew up in an area where there were ships at the ends of many of the streets that I knew.
Speaking of ships at the ends of streets, and changing the subject somewhat… Alfred Hitchcock films…
Sorry that was a bit of a jump wasn’t it? Have you seen his 1964 film ‘Marnie’ with Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery? It’s pretty good, and really gripping, but I remember there is a scene in the film where our Marnie goes to visit her mother who lives in the back streets of some big industrial city. There is a shot of the street where the mother’s house is, and at the end of the street we can see a great ship looming out of the nearby docks. The trouble is that it is obviously not a real ship, but a painted one. I don’t know whether it is a massive painting on canvas or just on a glass matte. It is very well done, but something, possibly the camera angle, gives the game away completely. When I saw the film back in the sixties I was quite shocked that good old Alfred would let something like that slip through…
(Marnie Ship)

Oh, how very serendipitous! Speaking of perspective lines pointing at things – Hithcock uses this very device in one of the opening shots of his film!
Marnie is running away with a pile of cash she has pinched; she is on a railroad platform with the money in a brightly coloured bag under her arm. All the lines of the platform buildings etc, converge on that bag in the centre of the frame. (The Bag)

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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