— THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE

NEW YORK WRITES ITSELF.

This is certainly one of the coolest and most ambitious ideas I have seen this year. All based on a very simple truth. New York Writes Itself, is literally that. A crowd-sourced film script made up of thousands of New Yorkers imaginations and reflections of their own city, billed as a ‘A Production By The People Of New York’.

It’s such a simple thought; a city as diverse, as complex and as densely rich in story as New York could quite literally write itself a script. It’s not like New York hasn’t already been explored in minute detail by some of film’s great directors, from Spike Lee’s Bed Stuy masterwork Do The Right Thing to Woody Allen’s Upper West Side neuroses in Manhattan, or Times Square’s squalor in Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver, (the tip of the iceberg obviously), but what makes this different, and therefore worth the follow is the threading together of these disparate experiences. Can you really make a script of something as vast as New York? All these films put a microscope onto a particular slice of New York life, giving you an opportunity to truly experience that slice of life. The creators have neatly sidestepped this by allowing all the elements, Quotes, scenes and characters in the script to be selected and made into their own productions – like posters, exhibitions, music videos and short films.

Projects are already underway, with the first one being ‘The Chairman’ (below)

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If you wanted to take this exploration further, then this project is another example of either the strength or weaknesses of crowdsourcing projects. What are the rewards of participation?  I personally believe the reward is in seeing your own experience recreated in some way. Your unique experience of New York becomes a unique thread in the cultural pattern of the city. You are now immortalised in your metropolis. When at times we can feel alienated from the scale and enormity (and relative anonymity) of cities, the chance to write your own piece into it, seems to be too tempting. A project to follow with interest.

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