Still/Here | Chicago Reader


60 minutes 2000

The midwest's great cities can be alienating, and this black-and-white essay (2000) articulates disturbed relationships between people and landscapes through imagery and editing. Filmmaker Christopher Harris suffuses the blighted north side of Saint Louis with a powerful melancholy, lingering on rubble-strewn lots, decrepit buildings, and empty streets, while footsteps and a continually ringing phone on the sound track suggest lives interrupted by the devastation. Holes in a movie theater marquee are powerfully evocative, but even more impressive is the film's sprawling, almost chaotic form: its calculated incompleteness truly matches the subject, and Harris's long takes imply—not without a hint of anger—that the ruins of his hometown are eternal.

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