Every night the jungle gets closer, every day the ruins surrender more
March 23, 2019 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Sarasota Half in Dream is a feature-length Surrealist documentary about dead turtles, crab swarms, decaying resorts, and microscopic histories; explorations into the abandoned golf courses, factories, and resorts of Sarasota, Florida and interviews with local youths who are using them for new and strange purposes. What would the Surrealists and Situationists think of a suburban, subtropical tourist town? What goes on in a storage unit in the dead of night? What is the afterlife of a decommissioned train car? What ghosts haunt a ruined hotel? What is the life cycle of a city? When will waters wash it all away? Streaming online for free. [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief (17 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
The quote is from an unrelated comment by jquinby:
I think of G+ more like an abandoned time share, built in a free-enterprise zone on some forgotten coast. There are lizards on the wall and the courtyard is full of dead leaves and scraps of paper. No one comes any more, except the old man who gathers the tamarind pods to sell in the market.

Every night the jungle gets a little closer, and every day the ruins surrender a little more.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:46 PM on March 23, 2019 [8 favorites]

I saw this when it was posted to /r/Sarasota. It may be specifically about SRQ but it's applicable to disaffected teenage life in any place ruled by tract housing developers.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:04 PM on March 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

Sarasota is white-wealthy-baby-boomer-MAGA-hat hell. Definitely interested in watching this knowing the film makers grew up there.
posted by photoslob at 6:41 PM on March 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, plus New College, obviously...
posted by Naberius at 6:56 PM on March 23, 2019 [5 favorites]

I clicked to their website with the idea of watching a few minutes to see what it was. I watched the whole thing. A really beautifully filmed documentary in the vein of hauntology and surrealism. Suburban apocalypse decay slowly drowning in the sea. Probably as it should....
posted by njohnson23 at 7:33 PM on March 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I appreciate them making a time capsule of the things that will soon be no more. Five years of abandonment in South Florida is more than enough time for nature to undo the follies of mankind. Hell, Mexico Beach shows that one storm is enough.

The music especially was cogent, appropriate and obviously hours of work. I'm proud of these kids*- they did a great job.

*I'm 60, and fully authorized to use this term.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:34 AM on March 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

My parents moved to Cape Coral a few years back...

The view from an airplane as you fly along the coast looks like some kind of white mold fringe growing along a once-healthy green space.

Will be watching this. The first few minutes of Sarasota, repeated over and over again, until you start to feel the fillings in your teeth, really gets the feeling.
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming at 9:55 AM on March 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

I grew up just north of Sarasota in Pinellas County and this is really doing a number on me. The gulf coast of florida is really a planet unto itself. So glad I decided not to go to New College and escaped to the north, so that now I can look back on it with some kind of nostalgia instead of remaining mired in it, stewing in the heat and sniffing the air for a lightning storm.
posted by dis_integration at 10:57 AM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh hey! I see one of the filmmakers went to Pine View, and my husband also went to Pine View, which makes them both part of the same small, weird club, which immediately made my husband 500% more interested in watching the film, so we're downloading it now (hate Vimeo), will report back. :D
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:40 AM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Writer/Director here. It's really wonderful to have my film posted on the Blue. I've been on MetaFilter for over a decade, so it is very meaningful to me to have something I spent 5 years making appear here. Thank you very much to those who've watched, and thanks also for the lovely comments.

The film played at two Florida film festivals, but we didn't have the money to submit it to many more, and it's not easy to break into that world or find a distributor with a film that lacks any budget or name recognition. So we decided to release it online for free because we just want people to be able to watch it. Even so, it's not easy to get attention for your work in an extremely oversaturated online environment, so people sharing it around like this is really the only way we get noticed. If anyone wants to post the film anywhere else, you're certainly encouraged!

A fun fact that we didn't mention in the film itself: All of the found VHS tape footage we used was actually recovered from tapes we found just decomposing in the sun at the locations we filmed. That footage was as abandoned and forgotten as the buildings we shot.

The wildest thing of all was when we found that "Ghost Hotel of Longboat Key" tape. We were exploring an abandoned hotel in Longboat Key, and in doing so we found a VHS tape that contained a film about expoloring a different abandoned hotel in Longboat Key from at least 50 years earlier. It was mindblowing.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:14 PM on March 24, 2019 [34 favorites]

This sounds amazing and completely in my interests. Can't wait to watch when I get a chance. Happy to spread the word around to help out the filmmakers in whatever small way I can.
posted by naju at 12:30 PM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this. Sort of a Herzogian mashup with Viceland's Abandoned. I wouldn't have believed the storage unit venue scene except for confirmation from a friend who's also from Sarasota. Thank you and best of luck on your future film endeavors!
posted by cosmologinaut at 8:50 PM on March 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

The irony of a golf course taken over by wasps is particularly delicious.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 5:22 AM on March 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

Many of my in-laws, freshly retired, are planning moves to Florida. Absorbing this completely enjoyable but haunting film confirmed for me all the reasons why I’ll remain up north. The pairing of soundtrack and visuals evoked a vivid dream state alongside the visceral repugnance I’ve felt about certain parts of Florida for a very long time.

Well done, One Second Before Awakening, and thanks to filthy light thief for posting.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:38 AM on March 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is beautiful. I was shocked when I saw what happened to the Colony. My ex-In-Laws lived on Longboat Key, and the last time I went to Sarasota was one of the times President Bush stayed there - that place was considered the epitome of high-end country clubs. And in a location where so many wealthy people come to play... I never would have dreamed that it would end up like a Borscht Belt place like Kutscher's. How is it possible the land isn't worth enough to put something there, even if it's just condos / timeshares? Or is it not likely enough to survive the next 15 years of global warming for someone to take the risk?
posted by Mchelly at 2:09 PM on March 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Aw, thanks everyone here, for posting, but yes, for making! I loved it entirely. Reminded me of a few urban spaces I inhabit illicitly, and always have. And I love that tropical feeling of growth, where if you stand still you will be eaten.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:44 PM on March 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I too enjoyed and shared. It captured not only the scene but the makers. With respect to the later, me being of a certain age, I found it delightfully almost adolescent in a good way. Thanks for posting! Pleasantly mesmerizing .....
posted by swlabr at 9:01 PM on March 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

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