certifed place

"Panic in the Streets with Richard Widmark is playing on Tchoupitoulas Street. The movie was filmed in New Orleans. Richard Widmark is a public health inspector who learns that a culture of cholera bacilli has gotten lose in the city. Kate watches, lips parted and dry. She understands my movie going but in her own antic fashion. There is a scene which shows the very neighborhood of the theatre. Kate gives me a look—it is understood that we do not speak during the movie.

"Afterwards in the street, she looks around the neighborhood. “Yes it is certified now.'"

"She refers to a phenomenon of moviegoing which I have called certification. Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere."

(from Walker Percy's The Moviegoer)

Above Alfred Hitchcock sets up a scene from "Shadow of a Doubt" at the Santa Rosa train station in 1943.

Below the same location sits quiet today...66 year later...no trains...no movies...but a real place, a certified place.

(Santa Rosa train station)

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