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    South Home Town: film and the imaginary city

    Hawley, Steve (2015) South Home Town: film and the imaginary city. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 8 (2-3). pp. 127-143. ISSN 1753-5190

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    In December 2014 Steve Hawley exhibited a video installation made with Tony Steyger called Stranger than Known; South Home Town. It was about Southampton, its identity, or lack of identity, in the 50th anniversary of it being granted the title of city. The article digs deeper into the way that film can depict the city and uncover its resonance in the unconscious. The great port had been made a city but where did that leave the Southampton of the imagination? The beautiful mediaeval buildings had been largely erased by the terrible bombings of World War II; the romance and drama of the flying boats of Imperial Airways, not to mention the Mayflower and Titanic, were about transit, about departures and fugue, the flight from the familiar, and not the city’s people who were left behind. If the city is not just a collection of buildings and streets and people but also a myth, then what is Southampton’s myth? Drawing from the city symphonies of the 1920s, and new modes of film depiction such as the drone camera and ultra slow motion, the article looks at how the imaginary city is shaped in the minds of transient passengers and those that remain behind. Keywords; city, film, myth, travel, technology, video art

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