METROPOLE (2008) is a feature documentary. The film, inspired by the French Marxist philosopher Henri Lefebvre, is a visual exploration of the daily flux of life, labor, and leisure in the city over one 24-hour period, as experienced by persons from across the social spectrum. Told in three sections, METROPOLE contains no dialogue—it uses only images, sounds, and music to express the everyday moments of a unique, yet familiar reality.
The documentary follows six individuals as they go about their day from morning to night—through leisure time, home, and work. Each of the characters represents the curious diversity of the social groups found in the city. What at first appear like unrelated, individual actions are connected by the complex economic and social relationships inherent to an urban consumer culture that compartmentalizes human activity. By combining beautiful cinematography, with an original, poetic musical score the complexity of our interdependence with one another in a post-modern economic climate is revealed. The purpose of the documentary is to highlight the contrasting social positions of consumer versus producer, positions that we all occupy, and to defamiliarize the everyday activities of work and rest. METROPOLE takes the seemingly disconnected interactions of our daily lives in order to mark them, label them and display them as something striking, something that calls for explanation, not to be taken for granted.
Shot and produced on location in Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC. Featuring tracks from Füxa, Esmerine (Ex-Godspeed You! Black Emperor), múm, AMM, mus-ok, Specs One, Joy Wants Eternity, Blue Scholars and others.
Brian Ganter (English/CultureNet) teaches the Year 2 CultureNet seminar, and – ideally – we will be announcing a screening of his film on campus before the year is out.