Infrastructure Films (2019), a collaborative build
September 9, 2019 10:08 AM   Subscribe

"This list of films is intended as a resource for anyone and everyone interested in infrastructure and society, broadly defined. I [Ashley Carse] compiled it based on recommendations that others made in response to my tweet on 14 Aug 2019: “#Infrastructure folks: What are your favorite films about infrastructure and society (or culture, politics, gender, etc.)? I'm asking for teaching purposes, so I'd particularly like films that are compelling and less than 75 minutes.”" (SLGoogleDoc; via The Prepared, link includes archived newsletters.)
posted by MonkeyToes (11 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hah, MonkeyToes, I was just thinking about coming here to post the link from this week's The Prepared on data centers along the 49th parallel. (Warning, it's a LinkedIn link)
posted by DigDoug at 10:11 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


No list of infrastructure films could be complete without mention of Working Dog's magnificent comedy series Utopia.
posted by flabdablet at 10:32 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Utopia sounds a bit like the earlier series on the preparing for the Olympics with all the associated problems in planning and construction. That was an Australian series too I think, maybe prior to Melbourne?

Anyway, thanks for the post. I'm pleased to have a new list of films to dig into, so to speak. The few I've already seen on the list are excellent, so I'm excited to see more they chose.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:41 AM on September 9


Ah, the tv series Utopia reminded me of must have been The Games, which aired before the Sydney Olympics. (Sorry about the Melbourne mix up.)
posted by gusottertrout at 11:00 AM on September 9


Yay for including Tatí's Traffic. The opening scene alone is worth it for the industrial absurdity.

tw on The Wages of Fear, though. Great, taut movie — but the ending is horrific.
posted by scruss at 11:04 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


What are your favorite films about infrastructure and society (or culture, politics, gender, etc.)?

I feel like making the request this broad kind of defeats the purpose of compiling a list. Doesn't pretty much every movie fall under these requests?
posted by Sangermaine at 11:10 AM on September 9


The phrasing is maybe awkward, but the parenthetical statement is to suggest the movies can focus on any aspect of society as long as the movie draws particular attention to the role of infrastructure. The selections I've seen from the list take that idea in some widely varying directions, with many choices being documentaries, others fictional accounts where infrastructure plays a major role in the story proper, and some where the story emphasis isn't on infrastructure per se, but the way the setting is handled visually and in some references makes noting the role of infrastructure almost impossible to avoid.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:23 PM on September 9


Very recently, Threads cropped up on Kanopy, a fact I became aware of because it unhelpfully* recommended it to me. Having seen it once, I think I'm set for life.

That said, it would be a good addition to a list of films about infrastructure (or the complete and horrifying lack thereof).


* I mean, it certainly fits in with the kind of stuff I watch, but come on -- it's Threads. Everyone has their limits.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:42 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


The 75 minute limit actually removes the Kwatsi series from the running, but I think those should be on the list, only because somehow they manage to illustrate how much the manufactured environment has an effect on individuals who exist within them.

Or maybe that’s just me.
posted by daq at 9:11 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Metropolis, of course. But not exactly 75 minutes...
posted by DesbaratsDays at 12:50 PM on September 10


"It's a SUPER-train"
posted by humboldt32 at 5:09 PM on September 10


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