'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We Will Build the Dubai of the North 

Башня. Зонгшпиль /// The Tower: A Songspiel from chto delat on Vimeo.

A fascinating video musical about contemporary development politics in St. Petersburg, centered around the proposed construction of an enormous skyscraper for the energy conglomerate, Gazprom. One can hear and see echoes of past dissections of the relationship between capital, personal power and the relentless transformation of the urban landscape, regardless of its consequences for the people who live within it, as subjectively addressed to varying degrees in films as disparate as Chinatown, In a Year of 13 Moons, When the Cat's Away, Lola and Sunshine State, as well as, of course, the foundational work on the subject, the Brecht/Weill opera, Rise and Fall of the State of Mahagonny. While watching it, I was struck about the extent to which the events, protagonists and social perspectives could have easily been transferred to an American context, which speaks to its universality.

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