110 / 220
Producer, director: Juris Poskus
Camera: Jespers Wachtmeister
Sound: Deborah Stratman

Shot in downtown Los Angeles and Moscow, the film is a diptych of two most populous metropolitan areas of the U.S. and continental Europe. It addresses the notion of modern mega city - the result of accelerated urban expansion of the late 20th century. With over 10 million residents each, the cities share a vastness of occupied space, monumentally designed systems of transportation, increasingly repetitious housing and urban planning at such enormous scale that the notion of community loses its conventional meaning. The anonymity bred by these massive urban environments dictates the way the film is shot. Approaching each metropolis from a visitor's distance, the film contemplates the notion of alienation through a visual metaphor. It addresses the universal phenomena of dislocation and rootlesness that afflicts modern society. In effect, the voice of the City becomes the voice of the film.
The minimal use of language gives way to visual expression. Scenes are described by the electric power and light. From urban skyline at dusk, bright windows suggesting evenly divided volumes of private interior spaces, to the uneven flickering of cooking fires on the homeless streets, lit by people who have lost the power which comes with ownership. Though different voltage standards have arisen, the thread of current remains a constant stitch enveloping and combining the disparate urban gears which turn a city.
The project displays the features of each city as a card game, unfolding separate scenes before the eyes of a perfect stranger. It attempts to find magic in the ordinary by scrutinising the simplest actions and idle moments, revealing images that are seldom associated with these cities. The camera avoids getting involved more than on the level of pure observance. It moves along lines created by the geometry of city planning, developing a pragmatic tableaux look, close to that of early cinema or classical theatre stage. The film employs expressive use of extended long takes, attempting to cut through the alienating environment, concentrating on the individual human presence, giving them autonomy and weight through temporal magnification.
A certain mythology surrounds the Capital of World Entertainment and the World City of Communism. Both have been identified with a certain myth Hollywood Dream and Communist Utopia, both have a certain magnetism which has contributed to their contemporary look. The idea of this project originates in West Berlin when passing the Wall a person could find oneself in entirely different world - separated only by a narrow strip of land. The experience of two similarly massive but culturally distinct environments without the usual time distance was electric - generating energy that illuminated and defined the shape of both.
The City does affect the wholeness of social life, far more than government, economics or technology. With urban expansion cities have become the basic form shaping everyday life and core of our modernism. Being among the highest creative works of society it is the formative setting for nearly all other creative human works, including this film.
MAIN
PRIZE
Ann Arbor film festival
ASV
 
JURY PRIZE
New York Expo
ASV
2000
1997.
52'