Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana and the Manchester Museum

Bank holiday weekend. Nothing much to do except read more of The Yiddish Policeman's Union. So decided to get out and do something.

First we went to the Manchester Museum. I've been meaning to go there for a while as I haven't been since I was a kid. My interest was piqued by the Lindow Man exhibition as I did not see it on any of the previous times it has been in Manchester. Unfortunately it was an incredibly disappointing exhibition. Things are laid out in a confusing manner with very little real information beyond what is in the leaflet. There is also a pointless aside as a whole bloody section about a woman who, as a girl at the time the Lindow man was found, was in hospital and got a Care Bear. And apparently Bros were popular at the time. I don't mind have the discovery put into cultural context but found it ridiculous that it overpowered the exhibition to such an extent. There is also a big fuss about showing respect for human remains but when you get to the case with the body in it there is nothing - no label, no explanations, nothing at all that would indicate that this is something you should pay attention to, let alone pay respect to. Everybody involved in putting the exhibition together ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

The rest of the museum, though, is definitely well thought-out and there is a lot to see. The Egyptian exhibition is entertaining, informative and interesting. The exhibition of stuffed animals is very much as I remembered it and still a little creepy. And there was more that we didn't get the time to see, especially as the normal entrance to the dinosaurs was blocked although the exhibit is apparently still open. Interestingly the bodies on display in the Egyptian section are all covered up with cloth and there little notices to say that this is an attempt to show respect to human remains and is being done as part of an attempt to stimulate debate on how we should treat these bodies and whether it is right to have them on display. However it all smacked of hypocrisy with the Lindow Man exhibition just downstairs.

Link to Manchester Museum.

And so, on to the next relic on show: the new Indiana Jones film. Like everyone else with a fondness for the first films and the burning rage of the Phantom Menace still too fresh in my mind I did feel a little nervous about going to see it. I re-watched Raiders of the Lost Ark on Friday. Cautiously I peeked at reviews to try and get a sense of what to expect without reading any spoilers. A mild optimism encouraged me to get it over with and so we went last night. I enjoyed it. It's an Indiana Jones film. Sure, it isn't as good as Raiders or the Last Crusade but it's still thoroughly enjoyable. I want to stay away from giving any spoilers but it really does feel like an extension to the other films. Like someone you haven't seen for a long time and then meet up with again, it's a bit awkward at first, and there's a few more grey hairs, but it's still the same person. I read somewhere someone say it is the third best Indiana Jones film and that's probably about the best summary I could think of.