Metropolis (2008)
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Metropolis is a quirky and very abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Rob Carter's stop motion video uses aerial still images of the city (real and fictional) to create a landscape in constant motion. Starting around 1755 on a Native American trading path, we see the building of the first house in Charlotte. From there the town develops through the historic dismissal of the English, to the prosperity made by the discovery of gold and the building of a multitude of churches. Then the landscape turns white with cotton and the modern city is 'born', with a more detailed re-creation of the economic boom and the architectural transformation that has occurred in the past 20 years.
Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, primarily due to the continuing influx of the banking community, resulting in an unusually fast architectural and population expansion. This new downtown Metropolis is thus subject to the whim of the market and the interest of large corporations. Made entirely from images printed on paper, the animation suggests the frailty of that dream.
Ultimately the city development continues into an imagined hubristic future, of more and more skyscrapers and sports arenas and into a bleak environmental future. It is an extreme representation of the already serious water shortages that face many expanding American cities today. This is less a warning, but more of a statement of our paper thin significance of the monuments of steel, glass and concrete we build.
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