We stayed in Harwich last weekend, a short jaunt for an RSPB boat cruise. Saturday night, wandering back to The Pier Hotel from the Electric Palace, we could hear the distant crump of containers loading in the night.
It’s weird – the sound isn’t harsh. Muffled and muted by the thousand-meter harbour the clunks and thumps seem almost comforting. The noise feels slow, like each container is wrapped in wool and coupled gently, rather than dropped clattering onto the deck below.
In bed that night we learned the names of these massive ships using an app, and this morning I woke up remembering that massively distributed infrastructure – shipping containers and satellites – were the great villains of cinema at the end of 2013 (see Gravity and All Is Lost – the same film, separated only by gender politics and setting).