I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Requiem for Detroit: 5 Stars and a bag of urban spinach
Staying on documentary's, but of a more reliable kind than Exit Through the Gift Shop, Julien Temple's Requiem for Detroit (here on iplayer) is magnificent. Simple and straigthtforward, it goes way beyond ruin porn with no reconstructions, no celebrity narrators, just insightful interviews with people who understand the history of the city they live in and are eloquent and generous enough to talk about how race, transport, drugs, housing and the car industry all contributed to Detroit's decline. There's even an anti-corporate glint of hope at the end with the city's urban agriculture movement.
Another documentary, Motor City's Burning: From Motown to Iggy and the Stooges features the music of Detroit and shows the political backdrop against which it was made. Check out film of Martha and the Vandellas' performing on a working production line. John Sinclair is magnificent, George Clinton is out of this world and Iggy Pop is Iggy Pop.
And sorry if you are outside Europe and can't get iplayer.