Sunday, 22 July 2012

Week 30: New Hampshire

"B. B. King just turns on
 The New Hampshire boys, Steve and Joe..."
 - 'New Hampshire',
 Sonic Youth

And so we travel from the big city glitz of Las Vegas to the quieter charms of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is the filling of the Vermont and Maine sandwich up in the north-east corner of the U.S. I suppose I always think of the three interchangably as being home to hills, lakes and forests. Maine, of course, is bigger and wilder than the other two, as well as having a famous coastline. Vermont has no seashore, and New Hampshire has a mere sliver between Massachusetts and Maine. But it does have a naval port called Portsmouth. So maybe it is not too dissimilar to 'old' Hampshire.

Hampshire cannot lay claim to Manchester though. Manchester is New Hampshire's largest town; in fact its the largest New England city north of Boston. It still isn't very big; we're talking a town with half the population of the real Portsmouth. Wikipedia is silent on whether it is wonderful, or indeed whether it is full of t*ts, f***y and United. But it does have its place in the news. Every American Presidential candidate spends a lot of time in New Hampshire because its primary election is one of the first in the season. The good burghers of Manchester must be used to having high-powered politicos clogging their streets and trying to be folksy.

But away from that folksiness there must also be a New England literary tradition. The three films I have lined up this week are all adaptations of novels (by Grace Metalious, Brett Easton Ellis and Vladimir Nabokov). They are:
  • Peyton Place (1957)
  • The Rules of Attraction (2002)
  • Lolita (1962)
Just having a quick flick through them now it looks like we are in for a bucket-load of sexual promiscuity, two rapes, a tinge of incest and some paedophilia. It looks like Steve and Joe aren't the only ones getting turned on up in New Hampshire!

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