Monday, May 27, 2013

And another thing about Crimefest

On the eve of Crimefest 2013 (or, if you prefer, on the threshold or the cusp), here's a reminder from one of my previous trips to that festival that there's more than crime to this fest.
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  I've written about my trip to Bristol, England, for CrimeFest 2009. I failed to mention that Bristol is home to Aardman Animations, which means it's also home to those two lovable characters at left.

Unfortunately, though Wallace and Gromit are featured in a promotional poster for Bristol, our guide said Aardman offers no tours. Instead, then, why not hop over and catch the duo at their own Web site?

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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19 Comments:

Blogger Loren Eaton said...

Have you ever watched Wallace and Gromit's The Wrong Trousers? It's gold. It always feels to me like something Hitchcock might have done if he'd loved slapstick.

May 29, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, I've seen it and enjoyed it greatly. My favorite moment in any Aardman movie, though, may be the interview with the glum lion in Creature Comforts who explains that "In Brazil, we had space."

May 29, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

My favourite's got to be the train chase in TWT. Among the best 2 minutes in the history of cinema. The laying of extra track - genius!!

May 29, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And you can watch that chase right here!

I was surprised, perhaps pleasantly so, that Aardman did not devote a few cubic meters of space to a Wallace & Gromit theme park, exhibit or souvenir shop.

May 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Loren, the title lettering on the clip I just posted is especially evocative of Hitchcock, from the early '60s, I'd say.

May 30, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

My only dilemma is, do I love Wallace or do I love Grommit more?

I did not know that that all came out of Bristol... The truth is, I don't actually know very much about Bristol at all.

May 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's quite the dilemma, all right. Don't you just want to squeeze their plasticene cheeks?

I didn't know they came from Bristol until I arrived there. All I knew about Bristol before CrimeFest is that is had a fine Gothic cathedral (though I found out the cathedral has a Norman room also). I didn't even know what part of England Bristol was in.

But it's not all Wallace, Gromit and churches: There are the old industrial waterfront and engineering marvels including the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Bristol is also the former home of John Harvey & Sons, makers of Harvey's Bristol Cream. It was a center of the tobacco trade and an important shipping center on the triangular trade (raw material to England, manufactured goods to Africa, slaves to America). Lots went on there, in other words.

May 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I forgot to mention that my newfound Wallace & Gromit knowledge colored my view of Bristol.

For example, I was on a tour of the city in an open-top double-decker bus, the sights described by a guide who sat on the open top level and spoke into a microphone. When the skies opened, the passengers retreated to the shelter of the lower level, but the poor guide had to stay on top, in the rain. The sounds of him bumping about, broadcast over the bus's public address system, reminded me of Wallace and his nervous fretting and were quite enjoyable. My favorite:

"(Bump, bump) Oh, heavens! My coffee's gone!"Later, I viewed an exhibit about Anne Frank in, of all places, Bristol Cathedral. One section offered a video of children talking about what religion, race and prejudice associated with both meant to them. One of the kids, a pudgy boy, shy before the camera but soldiering bravely on, reminded me of nothing so much as the animals in Creature Comforts , a thought quite out of keeping with the gravity of the matter at hand.

May 30, 2009  
Blogger Loren Eaton said...

One Christmas, my mom got my wife and I a cheese subscription. Basically, you got sent these cheeses from all over the world and you never knew what the next package would contain. Sure enough, one month our package came with Wallace's favorite -- Wensleydale. It was great.

May 31, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Cracking cheese, eh, Gromit?

Not being a cheese eater (and not having seen much Wallace & Gromit the last year or so), I'd have missed the connection should I have come across that type of cheese. So you've increased my stock of knowledge. Thanks.

Wensleydale is a great name, though, well-suited to the W&G films.

May 31, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

Yes, I can see Wallace being that guide--and Gromit lounging around very comfortably down below.

It's a stunning bridge, and nice info about the city, but I must admit that I still don't know quite where Bristol is. Guess I'd better look at a map.

That 'cheese plan' sounds delicious, Lauren!

May 31, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, boy, was it fun listening to the jostlings and electronically amplified bumpings and mutterings in the dry safety of the bus's bottom level. We passengers quite enjoyed it.

Bristol is in England's southwest. Head west from London, and the last city you hit before you hear a splash is Bristol. Keep swimming west for a bit, and you'll hit Cardiff in Wales.

May 31, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

Wait a minute--don't I have to turn north or something in my swim?
I can't think that there is anything west of Bristol besides Ireland.

May 31, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

They don’t have lines of latitude and longitude, but these maps make it appear that London, Bristol and Cardiff lie roughly along a line.

June 01, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, OK, very slightly north, just a few degrees.

June 01, 2009  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter you know there is a lot of England south and west of Bristol.
One feature of Bristol is the hills. I am fairly certain that Park Street opposite the Crime Fest hotel was a lot less steep when I first visited the city 50 years ago. Perhaps I was using different legs.

May 28, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I remember your having mentioned the strange changes that seemed to have taken place in Britol. I never new geological upheavals took place so quickly.

I quite liked strolling around Clifton Suspension Bridge, and it appears from that link that Gromit has become an official sponsor of Bristol.

This year's post-Crimefest excursion will take me to Portsmouth for an overnight ferry to Brittany and four days amid the megaliths of the Morbihan.

May 28, 2013  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter if you have time in Portsmouth have a look at the historical ships HMS Victory and HMS Warrior they date from when we had a navy.

May 29, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I should be in the right part of town for it, too. And it would be nice to think of a ship being honored for success rather than failure.

May 29, 2013  

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