This Is A No Smoking Cinema

It has been another week of mainly writing and old British TV. Here’s the exact point where I paused Cracker and bought the entire series from Amazon (only £12!):

Obviously, I knew it was set in Manchester. But what I hadn’t realized was as it was filmed in the mid-90s, it is a good archive of all that made Manchester when I was living there from 1997-2000, a large chunk of which is no longer there anymore. That Odeon was a regular haunt on Friday and Saturday night, walking past BBC North and the hallowed halls of Halon Menswear down the Oxford Road. In a pre-smartphone era, I have few pictures of my time there1, so having some evidence that it all existed would be nice.

I also watched Blackeyes, a Dennis Potter serial that has not been repeated or released on any other format since its first broadcast in 1989.

And…well. It’s gloriously inventive, with four or five levels of metafiction going on at any one time. But the misogyny is…well, I know it’s somewhat the point, but it does feel like Potter is having his cake and his eating it. Which, to be fair, he admits in the narration! But that’s a bit like having your cake, eating it, and then pulling out a sheet cake. I liked it, but it’s not something I’d actively recommend to people. Double Dare is probably the one I’d suggest if you’re after a non-singing play. And it’s only about an hour long!

The Long June March continues. This week: GANs, super-resolution (“computer: enhance!“), and fancy GPU calculations. So close to the end, and yet still so far.


  1. Of course, this also means that there are no pictures of my short-lived glitter days, so there are some positives from a lack of photo evidence. Also, when Matt took my camera into the bathroom at that ball, he was too drunk to do what he was planning on doing with it. And boy, that was a buried memory. [return]