silent era…


Lesson / Koan : When something disappears, it is never lost.

BTW,

utopia in four movements – Program Essay by Rebecca Solnit

Big Utopia, Little Utopias

Utopia always meant people together. The utopian impulse of a century ago was gregarious and altruistic; the hopeful and the radical didn’t want to just solve their own problems or save their own lives; they wanted to do it for all of us, everyone, everywhere, and all those in the eras yet to come. Many big utopias were never realized, though the world has changed in countless ways since, for the worse and for the better, partly by hopes and dreams acted upon.

Maybe little utopias are realized all the time, the utopias of people together in spirit and in body for a dance or a protest and everything inbetween. And sometimes we only realize their sweetness as they recede.

Utopia is sociable, and Green and Cerf’s Utopia in Four Movements gives you back the sociability of a movie, the way it was always about coexisting, by making it as live as a silent movie with an orchestra, a nineteenth-century chautaqua lecture, a sermon or a party. Take it as an invitation to think about utopia, not only the old ones that might have failed, but whatever faint aroma of paradise might arise in a room where you hope and think and breathe with others.

NOTE :

Sam Green is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker. His feature The Weather Underground was nominated for an Academy Award, broadcast nationally on PBS, and included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

I’m not trying to make a comprehensive history of utopia or an academic analysis of why this an anti-utopian time. I’m using the different stories to tease out, in more of an emotional way, ideas about hope and imagination of the future.

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