strange_complex: (Leptis Magna theatre)
I came across this film c. 12 years ago, while channel-hopping on what was quite probably a Bank Holiday weekend. I'd missed the first twenty or thirty minutes, but got hooked into the perilous-trek-across-the-Sahara storyline, and the tensions between the three main characters. Although the desert setting is physically expansive, its extreme character and the isolation of the three people trekking across it make it essentially an example of the cabin-fever genre - my liking for which I have documented previously.

And as a cabin fever story, it's decent enough )

But its real appeal is the location footage )

Roman cities in North Africa )

It's great to be able to see this film again after so long, and three cheers for this modern world of IMDb and Lovefilm, which allowed me to identify and then watch it without having initially remembered what it was even called. I do think, though, that it is about time I made more of an effort to see at least some of the North African cities in real life rather than just on film. I've wanted to ever since my final year at Bristol, and now at last I seem to be living in a time when there are a) companies like this who will take people there and b) enough pounds in my bank account to pay them. It'll take some careful research to make sure I'm getting a decent deal - but I can't think of anywhere else I would rather go on holiday.

Click here to view this entry with minimal formatting.

Cities old and new

Thursday, 14 July 2005 17:45
strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
I'm busy collecting information about Timgad (ancient Thamugadi) today. It's a Roman colony in what is now Algeria, which is very well-preserved because it was abandoned in late antiquity, and then just left to its own devices while it slowly vanished under the sand. Hence there was no robbing of stone or burying of old structures under new, and it was pretty much all still there when the French excavated it at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

I'm very familiar with it already, having written a Masters' dissertation in which I compared its suburbs with those of Roman Lincoln (a warm-up exercise for my D.Phil. thesis on Roman suburbs more generally). So I'm drawing on that knowledge to put together some stuff for my interview at Reading next week about how the streets of Timgad were used by the local elite to help show the city off to its best advantage. This sort of behaviour will be the essence of my next research project, so I'll be outlining what I plan to do, and demonstrating how some of my ideas can be applied with reference to Timgad.

Just now, though, I had a visitor pop into my office. It was the estate agent I originally rented my flat from this time last year, and who had come to borrow my key from me so that he could show some tenants round who were interested in taking it up in September. I'd been searching for images of Timgad on the web, and this one was up on my screen when he came in, causing him to ask, "Is that a bombed-out German city?". I explained what it actually was, and on closer inspection he could see his mistake, but it had made him think at first of places like Dusseldorf or Dresden (no doubt partly because it is in black and white).

Fearsome to think that human destructiveness can reduce a city in days to what nature takes 1500 years to achieve, though, especially in light of recent events.

EDIT: On the subject of pictures of Timgad, this man is now my new hero. You couldn't mistake that for a bombed-out German city!


strange_complex: (Default)

September 2017

    1 2 3
11121314 151617


RSS Atom


Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Wednesday, 20 September 2017 02:13
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios