I read the web-publication Filmmaker Magazine regularly. They publish each month a VOD-calendar with their picks and I have used…
A documentary film by Gary Hustwit
A documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.
I’ll call this an “expectation pendulum.” After the absolutely amazing Helvetica, I was thoroughly disappointed with the meager and pretentious Objectified. Naturally, I approached Urbanized with caution, but I found myself liking it quite a bit.
One of my fun co-watchers used the term “skyline porn” and I have to agree. It’s a beautiful movie, with many amazing shots of even the more desolate parts of the world.
Not unlike Objectified, this movie lacks focus. What made Helvetica – both the font and the movie – great? Constraint and restraint. Its two successors throw sometimes arbitrary vignettes on the screen without quite knowing how to string them together into a coherent story.
At least this time around, those vignettes aren’t…
Urbanized is an excellent documentary. It covers a wealth of material and doesn't feel the need to weave it together into an artificial journey. When it presents controversy it challenges you by not telling you how to think. It is a conversation starter rather than a trump-card supplier like Michael Moore's fare.
I particularly enjoyed the mayor of Bogotá talking about their bus and cycle systems, and how the aim was to elevate the status of people using these services. So many great ideas it makes you think.
Gary Hustwit's final film in his design trilogy is a fascinating view on urbanization. Normally what makes Hustwit's films so enjoyable is the wealth of passionate and optimistic people who he puts in front of the camera and fortunatly Urbanized is no different. The film is packed with interesting ideas as well as enthusiastic people and wonderful projects. At times it can feel a little unfocused as it tries to tackle the huge variety of aspects that affect (and are affected by) urbanization, but you really wouldn't want it any other way!
A fitting conclusion to a wonderful trilogy.
A return to form for Gary Hustwit following Objectified — which I found somewhat muddled and unbalanced — this documentary on modern-day urban planning covers a wide variety of topics and locations, from small, post-industrial successes like New York’s reinvigorated High Line park, to social housing projects in Santiago, and further afield to the slums of Mumbai, forecast to accommodate more people than New York and London combined by 2050. Mostly hopeful, the film is at its best when it delves into the tiny details, such as Brighton’s Tidy Street initiative.
bella y deprimente.
además: útil, por coincidencia, para el debate sobre parquímetros: la posibilidad de estacionarse vs el derecho –imaginario– a estacionarse.
ojo también: min 55:07, 'spinette' de arp & anthony moore.
Informative piece on an interesting and important topic, but feels like a college thesis with a large budget.
A nice overview of the challenges and possible innovations cities across the world will face as their populations increase over the next 40 years. It could stand to go a little more in depth on some aspects, especially the Mumbai and New Orleans sections, but it's a fascinating, oftentimes gorgeous look at modern urban living.
This director's best documentary remains Helvetica, perhaps because the topic was fairly focused. In Urbanized he gathers a lot of different opinions from around the world about different urban areas and problems and solutions. It was interesting, but in the end it all seemed to come down to the fact that urban areas that work are those where the concerns of residents are met effectively. And I think we knew that already, didn't we?
Urbanized delivers a contemplative and thoughtful documentary that is often precise in its message, but becomes unfocussed.
The film defines its topic well and relates the most relevant urban design feature a specific city has to that city. This provides a contrast between the various locations not only in looks, but with the underlying intention in how they were conceived. Brasilia is a standout in how it was designed by logic but in reality is not a comfortable environment.
It starts to become undone when it focuses on issues that seem to be at a micro level. The electricity and Stuttgart 21 segments are interesting but seem barely relevant and don’t link the correct details into the body of the…
I wish this was a 12-part documentary series instead. The only qualms I find with it is that it's too short for all it tries to cover.
Out of all of Hustwit's "Design Trilogy," Urbanized is the one whose subject matter I found most interesting. Unfortunately, the film itself is sloppy, disorganized, and disjoint - much in the way a poorly planned city would be.
How can I not fall in love with any film by Gary Hustwit - Truly informative and enlightening.
As insightful as Helvetica and Objectified. A moving piece simultaneously expressing art and design concepts as well as social challenges and policy development.
The main idea of Urbanized is that a "city" is the physical manifestation of the social fabric. This is a very powerful idea, and the documentary goes about explaining it through a series of case studies on different cities. The situations, concepts, and sub-ideas in each case study is very poignant; so much that the transitions between different studies are a bit jarring. You don't have time to process one thing before you're transitioned to another, thus negatively affecting the flow and narrative of the film.
Overall my least favorite of Hustwit's "trilogy", if only because so much of the best stuff is frontloaded. The second half kind of meanders with less interesting ideas.
At any rate Toronto would be wise to clone Bogota's (or Copehagen's, or anyone's really) Mayor and run him against Rob Ford.
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