directed by Florent Tillon
Detroit Wild City, directed by the shy and thoughtful Florent Tillon, showcases a filmmaker with a poet’s eye. This poet’s vision, however, proves too ambitious, and Detroit Wild City falls into the trap of trying to be about everything. It’s meditative, quiet, and visually stunning at times, reminding me often of the mesmerizing Andrew Douglas doc, Searching for theWrong-Eyed Jesus (those dolly shots, wow. Nice work, Mr. Tillon.), and Tillon has definitely given me cause to be excited for his future endeavors. Tillon looks at Detroit from a true outsider’s point of view, much like how Leone saw the American West, and the result is not as enragingly pulpish as Chris Hansen would have you believe (his little expose about Detroit shoved every negative stereotype down America’s throats, and I wanted to punch the tv). Instead, Tillon focuses on Detroit’s existential predicament, perceiving from the wreckage a new frontier from whose ruins anything can grow. Much more contemplative than the Palladium Boots mini doc, Detroit Lives (I will take a positive doc about Detroit any day of the week, however unremarkable), Detroit Wild City ponders the very essence of self destruction, self reliance and self resilience that have come to define a city that has seen its share of hard times. But like Larry Mongo (owner of Café D’Mongo’s) says at the end of the doc, “People are coming back here. Kids with imagination. Kids who aren’t afraid to throw out the old rule book. And it’s exciting.” I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Mongo. Tillon’s work is as dazzling as it is haunting, a filmic jumping off point for my fair city. If you can find it, watch it.
Detroit Ville Sauvage will be screening at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and the International Documentary Film Festival in Copenhagen (CPH:DOX). And by the by, Detroiters lamenting the lack of things to do downtown, there will be one last showing of DWC this Wednesday (the 13th) at 9pm at The Burton. Hook ‘em!
DETROIT WILD CITY - BURTON THEATER TEASER from florent tillon on Vimeo.