A Nation Slips Beneath the Sea

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/36515698[/vimeo] Sweep your eyes across any world map or globe and, unless you squint closely on the ocean expanse just west of India, they can be easy to miss: a chain of about 1,200 tiny islands marching almost in a straight line, from the Lakshadweep Islands to the north and the Chagos Archipelago to the […]

Posted in: Environment, Film, Politics, South Asia, Video by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on A Nation Slips Beneath the Sea , , , , ,

“Urbanized”: Democracy and Design

[youtube width=”400″ height=”250″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jpN8kI0-pY&t=2s[/youtube] Gary Hustwit clearly wanted his new documentary, Urbanized, to get more people talking or writing about cities. But he might not have expected the very literal way that admirers at Field Notes, a stationery company, would help facilitate that goal — by supplying notepads branded with the film’s logo to audiences attending […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Film, Politics, Video by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on “Urbanized”: Democracy and Design , , , , ,

Voodoo Gentrification

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpjL0mz3IJM[/youtube] You’ve probably heard the term “voodoo economics” before. Famously used by George H.W. Bush to denounce Ronald Reagan’s theory of trickle-down wealth when the two were vying head-to-head for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, they never again escaped the elder Bush’s lips after he became Reagan’s running mate in that year’s general election. The […]

Barcelona: tapas et soleil?

Poble Sec, Barcelona Je viens de quitter Madrid, après un passage à Barcelona au préalable, question de me faire une opinion sur ces villes. Et quel regard : pas celui du citadin qui connait trop bien – et donc déforme – sa vision urbaine d’une cité. Plutôt celui du voyageur, curieux et anthropologue, qui n’a […]

The Industrial City Deconstructed

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/13787210[/vimeo] Détroit: Ville Sauvage (Detroit Wild City), film de Florent Tillon (2010), présente de façon particulièrement poétique et imagée la réversibilité du processus d’urbanisation. Dans le cas très précis de Détroit, il s’agît d’un phénomène directement lié à la baisse de production dans l’industrie automobile américaine et des pertes d’emplois qui sont une conséquence directe […]

The View from Above

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbp_Ir_D3sM[/youtube] Part of the brilliance of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window was the way it acknowledged voyeurism as part of urban life. In the city, we’re always being watched and we’re always watching others, be it on the street, from across a café or on the web, through street photography. I’d be lying if […]

Posted in: Canada, Film, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The View from Above , , , , ,

Inside the World’s Largest Human Migration

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KjO50bxN54[/youtube] Last Saturday, I stumbled into Cinema du Parc after fighting a losing battle with some serious wind-chill. I found myself watching Lixin Fan’s documentary, Last Train Home, a jarring film that expertly chronicles the world’s largest human migration. Every year, 130 million Chinese migrant workers attempt to make it back to their homes in […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Film, Society and Culture, Transportation, Video by Jiajia Yi Comments Off on Inside the World’s Largest Human Migration , , , ,

A City on Screen and in Paint

Infernal Affairs, “I want my identity back” Enamel paint on canvas, 100cm(H) x 150cm(W), 2007 Hong Kong’s story is one best told on screen, through dihn ying, electric shadows. For decades, it was one of the world’s film capitals, and it was through film that Hong Kong projected itself onto the world with action films […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Film, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on A City on Screen and in Paint , , , ,

The Ethics of Urban Documentary

Vancouver is many things, but perhaps most of all it is Terminal City, a place to which people escape. Movie stars and Cantopop celebrities flee there to escape the stress of their lives in Hollywood and Hong Kong; the less affluent find in Vancouver a place to get away from the constraints and conventions of […]

Posted in: Canada, Film, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Ethics of Urban Documentary , , , , , ,

Now Showing: Hong Kong

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zxFOci7pg4[/youtube] Josh Kim’s 2006 short, The Police Box Where has Hong Kong gone? Once a world filmmaking capital, it has nearly vanished from the silver screen. Each year, far fewer feature films are made here than in cities such as Vancouver, Seoul and Tehran. What’s more, many recent Hong Kong movies, geared towards the lucrative […]

Half-Truths and Reflections on Home

[youtube]aY9BtROpNQ4[/youtube] If it hasn’t yet been made clear to my regular readers, I’m on the verge of moving to Hong Kong, maybe for only a year, but likely for much longer than that. What this means, of course, is that I’m going to leave Montreal. (I would take my beloved city with me, but the […]

Posted in: Canada, Film, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Half-Truths and Reflections on Home , , ,

Up the Yangtze

[youtube]Q1fFuynf-Yw[/youtube] The night before last, as the remnants of a thunderstorm drizzled down on Bernard Street, I walked to the Outremont Theatre to see Yung Chang’s documentary Up the Yangtze for the second time. Seeing it again only confirmed that this is truly a remarkable film — and one of the best and most important […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Film, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Up the Yangtze , , , , ,

Floating Through Kabul

[youtube]dv-xrhEa7lY[/youtube] Some cities ravaged by war slump into decline and desperation. Others rebound with as much vigour as before. Kabul seems to be the latter, which is not surprising considering its 3,000-year history as a crossroads of culture, commerce and empire. In this clip from documentary film Kabul Transit, the camera floats through the streets […]

Posted in: Film, South Asia, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Floating Through Kabul , , ,

Urbanism on the Big Screen in Two New Films

[youtube]pFNdQDBy2rY[/youtube] Director Gary Burns (Waydowntown) moves from fiction to documentary mode, teaming up with journalist Jim Brown to bring us Radiant City, a look at suburban sprawl from the point of view of a typical family living in a new tract development in Calgary, interspersed with commentary from the likes of Mark Kingwell and James […]

Posted in: Film, Video by A.J. Kandy Comments Off on Urbanism on the Big Screen in Two New Films , , , ,