Shine A Light

Films, Photos, Music, Fashion, Aesthetic, Narrative, Style, Image, Dialogue....

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Requiem For Detroit...

Detroit is the city where cars, Motown, Eminem and The White Stripes come from, It's in the north (east) of the United States near Canada, and its fucked. Massive population decrease, factories, schools, department stores and houses abandoned, up to 70 property fires a night, and something like a 43% illiteracy rate...

This BBC documentary, Requiem For Detroit, is an enlightening account of the city's rise and fall and how it came to be.

From Henry Ford figuring out how to make cars quick and cheap to illegal bootleggin' of moonshine (via Canada) during prohibition in the 20s the city prospered, then the Wall Street crash messed that up, then the rise in manufacturing during WW2 made stuff ok again, then the cars started to look more attractive but still ran like they did 30 years ago....meantime black folk arrived for the all the newly available jobs...this always leads to fights in the states...Detroit being no white folk left with their new money, on the new highways in their new cars to the new suburbs....then other countries started making cars that were better than American fewer cars were being made in Detriot...then in the 80s as someone in the film says...'they made cheap cocaine that you can smoke' the place got even more messy....

(the films explains all this (and much more) a lot more fully and assertively...)

So basically, today Detroit is a grizzly image of what the post industrial world could easily look like...

Julien Temple's documentary uses interviews, stock footage, new footage and interesting projection techniques to tell Detroit's story, that (perhaps only with hindsight) is tragically predictable and almost painful to watch as both economic and social issues consistently collide together to leave a once prosperous city left as not much more than a burnt out frame (literally).

However, people and nature are capable of great things, and luckily this film recognizes that...and hopefully Detroit's tragic fate may have another positive chapter to come.

With some great imagery of urban decay, insightful, funny and passionate characters and an awesome soundtrack going from Woody Guthrie to John Lee Hooker, to the sounds of Motown, to Punk to Eminem...this documentary is a wonderful document of city, of people and society.

There has been lots of comment about the state of Detroit and similar urban situations so go out and look for them as they seem to be a constant source of great creative material, and the uncanny joy of looking at burnt out, abandoned man made structures is always an intriguing pleasure...rightly or wrongly!

This is a good place to

But lets here it for Detroit!

"why it wasn't the skillest
To be walkin this borderline of Detroit city limits
It's different, it's a certain significance...
Then I turn and cross over the median curb
Hit the 'burbs and all you see is a blur from 8 Mile Road"

1 comment:

  1. The wonders of wide eyed greed and capitalism never cease to amaze... those riots over the union and Fords opposition to it really do emphasize one of the many darker elements of capitalism. Never knew he had such a calculative and evolutionary impact on consumerism. What a Cunt!