Archive for May 7, 2010

My City Again

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on May 7, 2010 by dcairns

From Humphrey Jennings’ WORDS FOR BATTLE, a WWII propaganda short made with Jennings’ typical romantic wildness and sensitivity. Structured around a series of speeches about Britain, by various poets, writers and statesmen, all read by Laurence Olivier, it’s very effective and rousing. This shot of Edinburgh appears during a Churchill speech (“We shall fight them in the hills…”) The hill here is Salisbury Crags, part of the Queens Park and the large hill Arthur’s Seat, part of an extinct volcano that also provided us with the fist of igneous rock Edinburgh Castle sits on.

Look at all that chimney smoke! That’s the reason our older buildings are all black, though they’re made from light-coloured sandstone. The soot mixed with all the moisture in the Scottish air and formed smog, painting our streets on dense charcoal shades. I love this dirty town.