by Su FRIEDRICH
2012 / Video / color / sound / 1S / 81' 00
A documentary of small changes evolves into an historical record of New York. The resulting film is an essayistic requiem for a neighborhood and an entire way of life; it also provides a case study of the rapid gentrification of our cities.
In 1989, together with a group of female friends, Friedrich rented and renovated an old loft in Williamsburg, an unassuming working-class district of Brooklyn. In 2005 this former industrial zone was designated a residential area and the factories, manufacturers and artists’ lofts were priced out by property speculators lured by tax breaks. Friedrich spent five years documenting the changes in the area between East River and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. She shows the demolition of industrial buildings and the construction of trendy new apartments for wealthy clients, watching old tenants leave and new inhabitants arrive. As she keeps meticulous record of developments, the extent and speed of the upheaval becomes clear. When her lease isn’t renewed, her documentary images and trenchant commentary become the tools of her growing anger.
“…the most salient and personal film about Brooklyn’s ever-changing face since Hal Ashby’s THE LANDLORD appeared in theaters some 43 years ago. Her GUT RENOVATION is bound to polarize audiences. It’s a polemical howl in the night, a desperately angry and sidesplittingly funny look at one oh-so-mythologized neighborhood’s transformation…[It’s] a film essay that is of a piece with the work of heady French names like Godard and Varda.”
— Brandon Harris, Filmmaker Magazine
“Friedrich uses all manner of wry digs and ironic whimsy to make her point…the “damn-the-torpedoes” directness of her spoken and superimposed commentary gives the film its unique bite and personality.”
— Ronnie Scheib, Variety
“…Ms. Friedrich is fighting mad. She is a provocateur.”
— Stephen Holden, The New York Times
|distribution format||DCP on USB stick (SMPTE 2K)|
|screen||1,37 - Standard (single screen)|
|rental fee||260,00 €|