Skip to main content

tv   From Out of Town  BBC News  September 2, 2017 8:30pm-9:00pm BST

8:30 pm
and disaster part of it is over now. and there is now very much a focus on there is now very much a focus on the money needed to recover. thanks very much for bringing us up—to—date on all of that. the investigation into the chemical cloud which affected parts of east sussex last sunday is looking into the possibility that it may have been caused by emissions from known shipwrecks in the channel. the beach at birling gap, near eastbourne, was closed until the haze disappeared. the maritime and coastguard agency is now investigating — as adina campbell reports. a mysterious mist which engulfed holidaymakers in east sussex. it led to birling gap beach, near beachy head, being evacuated, after people reported having irritated eyes, sore throats, and vomiting. i had a bit of a dry chest. and then, as we came off the beach, then it really kind of hit, and we were all kind of coughing a little bit. and my children were really, really upset, because their eyes were really painful. coastguard rescue teams raced to help clear the area, but by the end of sunday evening, around 150 people had to be treated,
8:31 pm
with others reporting discomfort. sussex police said those who required treatment experienced mostly minor effects. monitoring equipment was used at the time to try and identify the cause, but the readings were inconclusive. the maritime and coastguard agency now think the gas may have come from one of the many shipwrecks in the english channel. it is also investigating discharges from passing ships or lost cargo as a possible cause. the uk warm spot today, 22 celsius. most saw some lovely sunshine. tomorrow's whether as a very different look to it. ana ivanovic
8:32 pm
—— and atlantic weather system brings in rain. higher cloud spreading across the west of the uk. temperatures not going down as far as they did in recent nights. tomorrow, heavy bursts in the west, where it is quite windy. it turns lighter and patchy through the day, creeping very slowly further east in two parts of north—west england, the midlands, south west england. the further east we are, hazy sunshine, stay mainly dry in daylight hours. may reach 20 celsius. in a cloudy, wet zone with some hill fog around, i7 wet zone with some hill fog around, 17 or 15 degrees. tomorrow evening, the rain pushing towards east anglia and south—east england. very light and south—east england. very light and patchy as it does so. that is your latest. hello.
8:33 pm
this is bbc news. the headlines... the metropolitan police has paid compensation to the former head of the army, lord bramall, and the family of the late home secretary, lord brittan, who were falsely accused of child sexual abuse. more than 1,400 people have died and a0 million have been left homeless or displaced after catastrophic flooding across several south asian countries. on his second visit this week, president trump praises the people of texas as he meets those affected by flooding there. a campaign group says more than 700 homes have been burned down in a rohingya muslim village — as tens of thousands of the minority group continue to flee the country now on bbc news, historian adam smith explores the great american divide between the small town and the big city in from out of town. for decades, our country has lived through the greatestjobs theft
8:34 pm
in the history of the world. you people know it better than anybody, in pennsylvania. 0ur factories were shuttered, our steel mills closed down, and ourjobs were stolen away and shipped far away. how did donald trump pull off his surprise victory? he did it partly by appealing to the feeling that, across the usa, small towns have taken a battering. main street. there is plenty of room here. room for the individual to expand, to plan for himself and his children. the small towns of america, where once life was good. the less densely populated the place you lived, the more likely you were to back trump for president. while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate
8:35 pm
for struggling families all across our land. washington versus real america, wall street versus main street. the small town has long been the home of sunny american innocence, while the big bad city was the source of all corruption. if only, trump seemed to say, the innocence of the small town could be recaptured, we could make america great again. it is still a powerful story, but was it ever really that simple? in the 1940s and ‘50s, big bad cities really came to dominate and overshadow america. and, as they did so, they inspired a whole new style of cinema.
8:36 pm
in film noir, the american city is dark, and anonymous, and frightening. people are not what they seem. you can trust no—one. everyone is out for themselves. it's no place for the innocent. yes, i know, i'm... i'm being foolish. in doa, dead on arrival, frank bigelow makes the mistake of leaving his small home town and his girlfriend for a sneaky vacation in san francisco. within hours, he has been fatally poisoned, and is tearing around the city trying to find his killer. i'm adam smith, a historian of america, and in this programme, i'm going to investigate what film noir, and its sharp contrast between corrupt city and innocent small town, can tell us about america today. after 1945, americans
8:37 pm
moved to the cities, and especially the booming suburbs, in huge numbers. many of them found what they were looking for, but there was also this sense that they had lost the sense of the community they had had in the small towns they'd left behind. so film noir is not only about the city. it also plays on the contrast with the small town. against this innocent background, the dodgy, sophisticated incomers from the cities stand out. in some film noirs, the small town is the place you run to to try to escape your past. and it's where your enemies from the city catch you running a gas station. that is what happens to robert mitchum's character, jeff bailey, in out of the past.
8:38 pm
in the 1940s, america was becoming the land of the car, and that meant it was getting harder and harderfor small towns to be the isolated islands they had once been. if you wanted to avoid marauders from the cities, a gas station was about the last place in a small town to work. long time. hello, joe. wish it was nice to see you. everyone sure misses you, jeff. bailey discovers that, even hiding in the eternal innocence of bridgeport, his urban past will finally catch up with him. i had to find you. i owe you something. jeff bailey clearly hadn't watched burt lancaster in the killers, where more or less the same thing happens. hey, you! look at the oil, will you?
8:39 pm
driving into the small town where he is hiding comes the man he really didn't want to meet again. in the killers, a man's big—city past comes to him in the shape of two hitmen hired by the man he once doublecrossed. they track him to that centre of small—town life, a diner, and the men don't exactly hide their opinion of the place their victim has run to. this is a hot town. what do you call it? brentwood. did you ever hear of brentwood? what do you do with your nights? they eat at the dinner.
8:40 pm
they all come here and eat the big dinner. the killers go and kill burt lancaster's character, peter lund. but brentwood, newjersey can at least console itself that it remained unstained by this viciousness from the city. the way i look at it, this killing doesn't rightly concern brentwood at all. what concerns us is protecting the lives and integrity of our citizens. this man, lund, lives here. that's all. the killers came from out of town. it is part of an american attitude which says that, if you want a safe, secure, comfortable life, live in somewhere like brentwood. and that notion persists to this day. and it's one of the great ideas and fallacies behind trump, that there's an america that is settled, rural or semirural, provincial, let's say, where life goes along at a leisurely but acceptable, regular pace,
8:41 pm
and people are good to one another. it is a myth, but it is a very prevalent myth. and it was very prevalent then. but sometimes the man who runs to the small town is secretly the bad guy, likejoseph cotton in alfred hitchcock's shadow of a doubt. uncle charlie appears quite briefly as an urban character, but in wonderfully telling ways. you see him lying on his bed in a mean room, in a mean building. you don't quite know where you are, but it is urban. and there's a sense, i think, of whatever damage he's done, to others or to himself, that it has been an expression of that urban world. and he wants to get out, he wants to retreat.
8:42 pm
so he goes to santa rosa, in fact, and his niece, charlie, lives there with her family. and it's another america from that city that uncle charlie has come from, and it's an america that's really half—asleep. it's not thinking about anything very much. it's a conflict between that darkness that uncle charlie has seen and the brightness that niece charlie likes to believe is going to sustain america after the war. theresa wright plays a small—town girl who is over the moon when her urbane uncle charlie, who she reveres, comes to town. until, that is, she realises he is a serial killer. you're just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. you wake up every morning of your life, you know perfectly well there's nothing in the world to trouble you.
8:43 pm
you go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled little sleep filled with peaceful, stupid dreams. and i brought you nightmares. and really what that scene in the diner is saying is, this girl has got to grow up, and probably her growing up could break her down. and then you sort of say to yourself, well, maybe uncle charlie was a nice guy once. whether the invader was a villain or a victim, these movies portray the small town as a land of innocence. and here in sierra madre, near los angeles, this place still has a lovely, small—town feel. there is a wonderful old theatre over there, some great cafes. it is a very pleasant, peaceful place. you can see why the small—town idyll still has its appeal. but, even as it was becoming a symbol of nostalgia,
8:44 pm
these films were already unsettling the vision of the small town. for hitchcock, i think, it's a way of saying to that very secure, settled american attitude to itself, don't trust it. shadow of a doubt — what does that title mean? it doesn't really seem to spring out of the film, but a shadow of a doubt is what a smart viewer is going to feel about america when the film is over. in the stranger, another charming outsider brings a share of evil to a small town. orson welles is a teacher in harper, connecticut, and is about to cement his position in the little town by marrying loretta young. but then edward g robinson tracks into the town,
8:45 pm
and makes her confront who her new husband really is. surely you don't think... you might. they look like other people. they act like other people. when it is to their benefit. a gas chamber. but if nice mr rankine is really a nazi, who can you trust, even in harper, connecticut? when he is exposed, the desperate kindler hides in the church bell tower and the people of the town come together to hunt him down. citizens of hopper have come after you. the ones you have been laughing at. you can't fool them anymore. if the target is an escaped nazi, that's one kind of story.
8:46 pm
but the smalltown mobs in these movies were not always quite like that. sometimes, noirs went a big step further. instead of casting the small town as an innocent place to show up the evils of the big city, they turned the american heartland itself into a nightmarish landscape. in some film noirs, it's the small town itself which harbours corruption. and these films suggest the flipside to community and togetherness. the code of silence. the wall of hostility. i could punch him in the face, i'll tell you. you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? they'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. so perhaps that noir vision of the world also has something
8:47 pm
darker to tell us about trump's america. you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you ? seriously. 0k. just knock the hell... i promise you, i will pay for the legalfees — i promise. people coming together as a community can be a lovely thing, but not when they come together as a crowd against one outsider. spreading the violent propaganda of race hatred and violence... in the wake of world war ii, many on the left were worried about fascistic tendencies in america. ..taking root in many fanatical brains. like hitler's gang, they thrive on persecution, hatred and violence. if that boy isn't alive when the troops get here, you're gonna get hurt where it counts! and again and again, left—wing filmmakers expressed this through images of that most passionate version of a community coming together as one — the lynch mob. in trial, their target
8:48 pm
is a terrified hispanic boy wrongly branded a sex attacker. heave! in the sound of fury, the mob do manage to kill the murderers they're after. if the media'sjob is to be honest and tell the truth, then i think we would all agree the media deserves a very, very big fat failing grade. looking back at these films today, it's striking to find the mob focused on one of donald trump's favourite targets — those interfering big—city outsiders, the media. warner bros‘s storm warning was an attack on the ku klux klan, portraying them as fanatically hostile to outsiders, as ginger rogers, a new york model visiting her sister in a small town, discovers.
8:49 pm
the victim, we soon find out, is an undercover reporter who'd been investigating the klan. many times today on the streets, in the restaurant in the hotel, people have come up to us and asked us not to judge their whole town by their brutal criminal action of hoodlums last night. where's that cable? get off the line. bob? bob. these decent individuals sincerely upset by the... astonishingly, the filmmakers decided not to mention the klan's racism, at instead, the film explicitly connects far right extremism with smalltown hostility to outsiders, protected by a wall of silence. but looking out at the faces
8:50 pm
of the men and women here this afternoon at the courthouse, it isn't always easy to tell on which side they stand. no wonder some people in small towns get fed up with the way hollywood and the media represent them. around this time, joseph losey directed in the lawless. a small town turns on another hispanic boy who was being wrongly accused of a sex attack. prevented from lynching the boy, the townsfolk instead turn on the newspaper which has defended him. it would be hard to find a more vivid image of mob hatred of the media. come on, where are you? but what's most striking is that the newspaper that gets destroyed is trying to be honest. the situation has been whipped up by another paper, peddling what you might call "fa ke news". now, a big hit, vicky. now, dear, try and remember
8:51 pm
just what happened. you went to the barn and he jumped out of the dark and grabbed you! losey was a very self—conscious, very... very heart on his sleeve liberal who saw not just the chance, but the need almost to make a story about racism in smalltown communities, but also of about the general danger of a vigilante spirit taking law into its own hands. the lawless was written by daniel mannering who also wrote the film who helped set the template for the smalltown noir, out of the past. mannering grew up in a small town in northern california and though he was brilliant at evoking their particular atmosphere, he wasn't particularly sentimental about them. if you've never been tempted to take part in a lynch mob,
8:52 pm
perhaps you can take these films in your stride. but another film script of the 1950s, also written by daniel mannering, shows the growth of a mob which is even more unsettling. in invasion of the body snatchers, a mix of noir and science fiction, directed by don siegel, the people of a small town in california are not scarily angry, but scarily blank. gradually, the town's doctor and his girlfriend realise that the townsfolk have been taken over by alien pods. step over to truck number one. that marvellous idea that i completely believe in is that the world is populated by pods, those are vegetables, and they have no emotions. they get up in the morning, they bathe, they eat,
8:53 pm
they go to work, they eat again and they go to sleep. they have no cultural aspirations. and the local psychiatrist thinks the advent of total conformity is just what the town needs. suddenly, while you are asleep, they will absorb your minds, your memories and you're reborn into an untroubled world. where everyone's the same? exactly. i think what it's saying is the very things that we think of as precious in a free society, like education, like love, like differences of opinion, like sexual expression, they may be great threats to social control. so the conformist crowd turn on the two dissidents. but has the arrival of blank conformity come from out of town
8:54 pm
to ruin the innocent townspeople? is it like communism or consumerism, or is it their own community spirit that's made them obedient and conformist? the invasion of the body snatchers gets under your skin because this crowd are trying to do the right thing. even the town's well—meaning policeman joins the chase. they went this way! the film refuses to tell you who to blame. are the townsfolk villains or victims? but today, the message coming out of the pass from those old film noirs is that there's no perfect place, not even in the would—be paradise of smalltown america. one way to keep america divided
8:55 pm
is for trump's opponents in the big cities to sneer at his supporters as losers left behind in flyover country. and another is to look back too nostalgically at the smalltown life of the real america before the cities took over. this old dream risks hardening the divide between the big city and the small town. exactly the division that these old movies, more than 60 years ago, tried to dissolve. hello, a lovely start of the weekend, with the exception of a few sharp showers in east anglia. most places were dry with some sunshine. with skies like this, sunshine is harder to come by tomorrow. if this was today's whether on the satellite picture, this is tomorrow's. this atla ntic picture, this is tomorrow's. this atlantic mother the weather system
8:56 pm
coming in. through the night we're going to see outbreaks of reigns running across northern ireland and reaching into western parts of scotland, wales and south—west england. the wind is picking up, gail is developing through the irish sea. high cloud spelling further east across the uk. all that means that temperatures are not going down as far as they have done on recent nights. the clearest part of eastern scotland, eastern england, just dipping down into single figures in the countryside. let's take a look at things in the morning. some wet and windy pictures here across parts of south—west england and wales, with heavy bursts of rain. the wind direction will have favoured the heaviest rain into south facing hills. look in the contrast to the east, hazy sunshine around. they fairly pleasant start of the day. some places will stay dry all day, although the tour will thicken further. rain knocking on the door of self—esteem. rain pushing across northern ireland overnight, into much of south—west scotland. at this stage, the north and east are mainly dry. this weather system, once it is
8:57 pm
into the west doesn't want to move further east with any great haste. what we find is some outbreaks of rain affecting parts of north—west england, the midlands, western parts of south east england, pushing into the north—west of scotland. down the east side of scotland, for much of eastern england, likely to stay dry. cloud increasing. quite pleasant if you have hazy sunshine. it could be worse for stage one of the tour of britain, the cycling getting under way at edinburgh. a lot of cloud around. much of the day it will be dry. as we look through sunday evening, still a bit of patchy rain. it's moving further east to east anglia. a lot of low cloud, mist and fog in the west. this weather system grinding toa fog in the west. this weather system grinding to a halt across the uk on monday. because it is there, expect a lot of cloud on monday. not a huge amount of rain. patchy rain and drizzle. just a few brighter breaks coming to east anglia. another weather system bringing parts of
8:58 pm
northern ireland and scotland through the day. this is bbc world news today. i'm alpa patel — our top stories: flooding across south asia is affecting more than a0 million people. 0ur correspondent has been to bihar, one of the worst—hit provinces of india. the water was above his head and came washing through here. you can see that it is absolutely terrible, the mud left behind. president trump has made another visit the houston texans to talk to some of the flood victims. the un says nearly 60,000 rohingya muslims have fled into bangladesh from myanmar in the past week — bringing with them stories of horror. so many people were killed. they set fire to everything. ijust ran. they we re
8:59 pm
9:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on