Saturday, 19 May 2012

Week 21: Maryland

"William Zanziger who, at 24 years,
 Owns a tobacco farm of 600 acres,
 With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
 And high-office relations in the politics of Maryland,
 Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders..."
 - 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll',
 Bob Dylan

From the far north of Maine I am heading down the Atlantic seaboard to Maryland, one of the northernmost Southern states. In fact the famous Mason-Dixon line runs along Maryland's northern and eastern borders separating the state from Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Delaware? Oh great. Delaware was a small state ranged along the shores of Delaware Bay, and I had awful trouble finding films set there. Maryland is a small(-ish) state ranged along the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Is it likely that I will have trouble finding films set here?

Thankfully, the answer is 'no'. Maryland seems to have quite a lot going for it. I know that it was founded specifically as a Catholic colony, that its port city of Baltimore was historically one of the largest and most important cities in the U.S. and that, bizarrely, it is one of only seven American states where it is illegal for atheists to hold office. Baltimore still holds a powerful attraction, whether it is as the seedy drug-gang-ravaged setting of the TV series The Wire, or just as the home of the campily kitsch (or possibly kitschly camp) film director John Waters. And in case that's not urban enough for you, the northern suburbs of Washington D.C. spill over into Maryland too.

So all things considered, I shouldn't have too much trouble finding three films set here - even if I have to use three John Waters films. I'm not going to do that however. I hink that just one Waters is plentiful... and another film based on his works. My three films are:
  • Cecil B. Demented (2000)
  • Hairspray (2007)
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)

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