Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From the AV Room: Portraits of a Megacity, Then and Now

Today, I return to São Paulo, my favorite megacity, for a weekend of sophistication and debauchery. Brazil's largest city presents me with ample opportunities to sate every aspect of my being. I love her for that. The four videos below juxtapose images of the world's largest underrated city from its adolescent growth spurt to its mammoth adulthood and accompanying developmental issues:

São Paulo, 1943: This propaganda-soaked documentary, produced by the US government in 1943 (when Sampa's population was a mere 1.3 million), highlights the seeds of industrial development that have served as a blessing and a curse for São Paulo. Despite the film being skewed towards an upper-class, light-skinned Brazil, it's still fun to see images of the bustling old downtown districts (my favorite parts of the city) in their heyday.

São Paulo 1954: This short film, with unfortunate sound editing (the rockem-sockem instrumental score should have been used to punctuate the footage of traffic and movement, not static skyscrapers), conveys the sense of emerging power and importance of the nascent metropolis.

São Paulo 2008: Featuring the modern metropole of 20 million that I know and love, this short film captures the vibrant realities of SP, good, bad, and ugly. Chaotic, inspirational, tough, profound, crowded, progressive, imposing, impressive, endless.

São Paulo 2009: Part of a National Geographic multi-part series on megacities, this 45-minute documentary features the green revolution taking place in São Paulo and the aspirations to sustainability as good business for Brazil's financial capital.

Fly Brother welcomes your views. If this post hit the spot, please comment and/or click.


KonWomyn said...

I stumbled on your blog thru A Bro In Sweden & just wanted to say this is a very cool blog. Interesting progression in the filming of Sao Paulo and Sao Paulo itself.


Fly Brother said...

Thanks for coming through, KonWomyn. Appreciate the compliment! Have you ever been to Brazil?

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harry john said...

This looks like a very nice place! I liked it so much and very interesting, too! Thanks for sharing the experience.
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