Via Inside Higher Ed, Some Johns Hopkins students are honked off that their campus is being used as a stand-in for Harvard in the shooting of a new movie, “The Social Network,” about the invention of Facebook. Having spent time on both campuses as a guest in the 1990s, I can say that the Homewood campus looks just about nothing like Harvard. Kudos to one of the first commenters on the Baltimore Sun article, who asks, “Wow, did they manage to change the architecture from Neo-Georgian to Gothic as well?” (Actually, to be fair, some of the comparison is in fact Georgian to neo-Georgian. Harvard went Georgian in the eighteenth century, so at the time Hopkins was founded in 1876, it was big into Gothic Revival.)
Many buildings are brick on both campuses (although JHU’s bricks are newer and therefore orangier)–that’s about where the similarities start and end. The Homewood campus feels like a suburban college campus, with several wide open greenswards, and it has little if any relationship to the city neighborhood in which it’s situated. Harvard’s campus is integrally knit into the city of Cambridge–that’s the big difference I perceive, moreso than the different kinds of architecture.
My advice to JHU students (not that they’ve asked for it, of course) is to be cool and knock off the complaining–it’s not the movie shoot, it’s the b!tching about it that makes you look second-rate. JHU is a kick-a$$ school where anyone would be thrilled to matriculate–have some pride! Who the heck wants to watch a movie about writing software anyway? This sounds about as exciting as the yet-to-be released movie “Tenure,” which was shot at Bryn Mawr in 2008. (Sounds like a straight-to-DVD and video dump, to me!) What’s next? A suspense movie called “Tenure and Promotion: The Committee?” A horror movie called “The Provost?”
No wonder Hollywood ignores us, for the most part. Whatever David Horowitz says, we’re extremely boring people.