Thursday, October 04, 2012

People Like Us

David Byrne's True Stories has been around for 25 years, and it's starting to look more and more like Byrne predicted the future. I wrote a 2010 post on True Stories. (Austin Chronicle)
The Narrator's attitude toward exurban sprawl is ambivalent as he cruises in the car past cow pastures stretched to the horizon: "You know, in a couple of years, this'll probably all be built up." Indeed, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex where the film was shot is choking with traffic, chain stores, and McMansions now. Production Coordinator Christina Patoski, who lives in Fort Worth, provided me with a list of addresses of shooting locations. Not only have most of the sites been bulldozed, the maps have been redrawn. Municipal borders have shifted with the construction of corporate campuses, conference hotels, and private hospitals – business prone to establish proprietary street names that are subject to the whims of economic turnover. Town names are retired where growth is lagging (Sterrett no longer exists), while new ones are introduced in wealthy sectors (computer factory interiors were filmed at a now-extinct proprietary address in a part of Allen that is now called Fairview). Like a dry-erase board, the flat north Texas landscape is perpetually wiped clean.

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