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Old 03-31-2015, 05:36 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 1,094,720 times
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What do people in Detroit think of the film 'Only Lovers Left Alive' and perhaps other depictions of Detroit's blighted areas as hip and romanticized. I thought that 'Only Lovers Left Alive' was extreme in it's romantic and intriguing depiction of hipsters cruising the deserted streets all night, living 'off the grid', going to underground clubs, lawlessness, etc. Very Mad Max in its hip wasteland kind of setting. Lots of beautiful shots of Detroit's crumbling icons and a crumbling old mansion as basically the star of the film. Perhaps too overt in basically making a film version of the endless 'urban exploration' websites featuring Detroit's icons. And now I heard that the crumbling Brush Park mansion featured in the film is available for tours and rental on airbnb.

Living in Detroit or being from Detroit, are you annoyed by this type of romanticized depiction of Detroit blight? Or do you think it's a positive way to bring attention to the beautiful architecture of Detroit which obviously is under serious threat with much of it lost already? It depicts Detroit as being an interesting, hip and cool wasteland - so kind of an ironic positive I guess. Does that bother you? Or is any 'positive' (even if ironically so) attention good?

I don't really have a strong feeling either way on this film's portrayal of Detroit. I didn't like the story line but that's not what my question is about. I can understand why it could annoy people from Detroit but it also 'stars' old Detroit so I suppose I could see the attraction to some people as well.

Apologies if this is a worn out topic in Detroit.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,874,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
What do people in Detroit think of the film 'Only Lovers Left Alive' and perhaps other depictions of Detroit's blighted areas as hip and romanticized. I thought that 'Only Lovers Left Alive' was extreme in it's romantic and intriguing depiction of hipsters cruising the deserted streets all night, living 'off the grid', going to underground clubs, lawlessness, etc. Very Mad Max in its hip wasteland kind of setting. Lots of beautiful shots of Detroit's crumbling icons and a crumbling old mansion as basically the star of the film. Perhaps too overt in basically making a film version of the endless 'urban exploration' websites featuring Detroit's icons. And now I heard that the crumbling Brush Park mansion featured in the film is available for tours and rental on airbnb.

Living in Detroit or being from Detroit, are you annoyed by this type of romanticized depiction of Detroit blight? Or do you think it's a positive way to bring attention to the beautiful architecture of Detroit which obviously is under serious threat with much of it lost already? It depicts Detroit as being an interesting, hip and cool wasteland - so kind of an ironic positive I guess. Does that bother you? Or is any 'positive' (even if ironically so) attention good?

I don't really have a strong feeling either way on this film's portrayal of Detroit. I didn't like the story line but that's not what my question is about. I can understand why it could annoy people from Detroit but it also 'stars' old Detroit so I suppose I could see the attraction to some people as well.

Apologies if this is a worn out topic in Detroit.
I never even heard of this movie before and by the way your describing it, thank God. But to answer the question in bolded, YES! YES! YES! AND HELL TO THE YES! I am SICK of hearing and seeing Detroit on TV as nothing but a completely abandon and crime ridden ghost town that just went bankrupt. Like people don't fu*king live normal lives in Metro Detroit. All it does is make me have to explain and sometimes flat out argue with people that yes Detroit has plenty of people, places, and things to go see and do. There are much better things to do in Detroit than tour bombed out buildings, I wouldn't even rank that in the top 100 for a tourist. But of course, the hell with whatever else Detroit has to offer, let's show the world how many empty buildings are in Detroit.

I don't even see what's so damn fascinating with Detroit's blight, it's in every major city in the US, not to the scale of Detroit but Detroit's isn't anymore interesting imo. And all over the world there are cities that are truly ghost towns with with more interesting stories. But Detroit's blight is ugly, it's an eyesore, and it's a crime attractor. Real attractions would bring up the property value, vacant buildings in Detroit do the exact opposite. But despite what Detroit has been through, it still plays with the heavy hitters, still a very important city/region, still has wealth, and still has more than 90% of other cities in the US have as far as amenities, attractions, food, different areas, shopping, events, ect. The difference is, the city declined alot and the government was a joke so everything that is ran by the city government is mediocre at best.
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:47 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,599 posts, read 13,502,383 times
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I'm fascinated by the blight, but I don't enjoy it. I compare it to a cancer doctor/researcher who is fascinated by cancer or a car designer that is fascinated by the way that an automobile is compacted in a crash. I look at it as a sad fact of life that says some sad things about us as a culture. I wonder what Detroit could have been like if not for the boom cycles of the auto industry and the war industry which brought in waves of immigrants, southerners, and blacks, many of which did not have the preservation of Detroit as a high priority. I wonder what Detroit could be like if the government didn't overly subsidize home construction out in the suburbs. I wonder what Detroit could be like if expressways had been relegated to inter-city travel and not as a way to facilitate the exodus of people from the inner-city to the suburbs. I wonder what architectural treasures could have been preserved had not Modernism plagued our architectural tastes.

In other words, the blight in Detroit is a stark reminder that there are a lot of lessons to learn. What mistakes did we make that could have been avoided? What was inevitable? What should we change in terms of laws or human behavior? What amount of blight is acceptable as a normal function of civilization's progress, if any?

I did not see the film. I watched trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TbxI_oRSKI and it looks like something I would not enjoy seeing. I don't mind them using blight as a backdrop. Their depiction of the present human condition (of the characters, at least) is far more disturbing than their commentary (if any) on the evolution of blight.
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:02 PM
 
2,060 posts, read 2,145,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
What do people in Detroit think of the film 'Only Lovers Left Alive' and perhaps other depictions of Detroit's blighted areas as hip and romanticized. ...
They are trying to depict Detroit, including some blight, as hip in this Apple commercial. For me too the blight (and crime) are interesting and fascinating. I hope some of the ruins get preserved as industrial heritage should Detroit improve. Personally, I found the decay in Alfred street rather artistic.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:51 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 1,094,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drro View Post
They are trying to depict Detroit, including some blight, as hip in this Apple commercial. For me too the blight (and crime) are interesting and fascinating. I hope some of the ruins get preserved as industrial heritage should Detroit improve. Personally, I found the decay in Alfred street rather artistic.
The Apple commercial is very optimistic in tone and to me creates a message that Detroit is hip and dynamic in spite of the blight. It shows a community working together to grow and solve problems.

Only Lovers Left Alive presents Detroit as a hipster paradise because of the blight. It does not show a community, it depicts (and romanticizes) a wasteland of disconnected lawlessness.

i am not necessarily saying there is anything wrong with seeing the blight as hip. I too have some fascination with grand buildings in decay. just wondered what people from Detroit thought.

I suppose when Williamsburg Brooklyn is the setting for every other middle america sitcom, the meatpacking district has multi-million dollar designer lofts, Shoreditch London is filled with city boys, there's nowhere left for real hipsters to go. Only Lovers Left Alive seems to almost set out a challenge - if you're a real hipster set up in a condemned Motor City mansion and cruise the ruins all night like Mad Max. Are these neighborhoods the illusive hipster Nirvana - immune (for now) to gentrification and pesky starbucks coffee and panera bread moving in?
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,631 posts, read 7,371,966 times
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For one, OLL isn't a documentary based in reality so I dunno why anyone would consider it to be an accurate representation of the city and/or its culture. Just like most movies.

Two, Detroit has hipsters, but they aren't living in burnt out mansions. They also certainly aren't vampires. There's a few Starbucks and other coffee shops where you can find bearded guys with glasses and a scarf typing away on his Apple laptop.

And three, the 'blight' that often appear in these movies are downtown and often are owned by the city, waiting for someone to buy them and renovate them. Reason being because the land all around them is being developed and actually has occupied homes and apartments. Of course, you wouldn't see that in the movie.

The real blight is scattered out deep in the neighborhoods where most movies don't even take place primarily because they're predominately African American and often high crime areas. No one's going to come to Detroit and make a movie about the struggles of real inner-city life because no one's interested in that. All they want to look at is the burnt up buildings. Hipsters would never set foot in these neighborhoods because real people are dealing with real problems and the amount of blight that the city is trying to control is one of them.

I think it's annoying when people think these movies are based on reality when it's completely the opposite. I'm sure there's people who jack off to vacant buildings, but just keep that to yourself dude. If you're interested in finding out what the city is really like, great, but if you're expecting constant ruin porn and some dramatized image of the city, then you're probably going to be disappointed.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,852 posts, read 1,823,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
For one, OLL isn't a documentary based in reality so I dunno why anyone would consider it to be an accurate representation of the city and/or its culture. Just like most movies.

Two, Detroit has hipsters, but they aren't living in burnt out mansions. They also certainly aren't vampires. There's a few Starbucks and other coffee shops where you can find bearded guys with glasses and a scarf typing away on his Apple laptop.

And three, the 'blight' that often appear in these movies are downtown and often are owned by the city, waiting for someone to buy them and renovate them. Reason being because the land all around them is being developed and actually has occupied homes and apartments. Of course, you wouldn't see that in the movie.

The real blight is scattered out deep in the neighborhoods where most movies don't even take place primarily because they're predominately African American and often high crime areas. No one's going to come to Detroit and make a movie about the struggles of real inner-city life because no one's interested in that. All they want to look at is the burnt up buildings. Hipsters would never set foot in these neighborhoods because real people are dealing with real problems and the amount of blight that the city is trying to control is one of them.

I think it's annoying when people think these movies are based on reality when it's completely the opposite. I'm sure there's people who jack off to vacant buildings, but just keep that to yourself dude. If you're interested in finding out what the city is really like, great, but if you're expecting constant ruin porn and some dramatized image of the city, then you're probably going to be disappointed.
Couldn't agree more. The "hipsters" are trying to capitalize on the current trend of depicting decaying cities, especially popular among those artsy types living in nice safe posh neighborhoods somewhere in CA or NYC or Europe or Canada. Most of them wouldn't set a foot anywhere near the burnt up buildings of real inner city and the few that are stupid or unlucky enough periodically end up robbed and killed, like these two poor English tourists in Miami that wandered into the projects.
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