ICARUS FILMS HOME VIDEO
ANNOUNCES DVD RELEASE OF
CUL DE SAC: A SUBURBAN WAR STORY
A Film by Garrett Scott
It's been ages since I've seen a more thoughtful, unpredictable, and gripping movie...It's an engrossing true-life story. More important, it's a brilliant cultural and political essay, packed with insights into grassroots attitudes about violence and war. -Christian Science Monitor
Brilliant...Each time CUL DE SAC revisits Nelson's low-speed tank chase, he seems less like a standard-issue nut-job loner and more like a military/industrial Frankenstein's monster... -NY Press
CUL DE SAC explores the chilling true-life story of Shawn Nelson, a 35 year-old plumber from Clairemont, California, who emerged from an eighteen foot mine shaft he had dug beneath his backyard in search for gold, stole a tank from a nearby National Guard armory; and went on a rampage through the streets of his neighborhood, crushing cars and lampposts until the cops took him down.
CUL DE SAC goes far beyond this bizarre news story and provides extensive political, economic and social context that connects Nelson's life to a much larger story of a working class community in decline. Christian Parenti (The Nation) calls the film, a soulful reading of the southern California landscape and the underlying processes of militarism and economic boom and bust which produced it.The Journal of American Culture writes,The film's Chamber of Commerce footage and implicit indictment of American industry's insensitivity to its labor force is reminiscent of Michael Moore's ROGER AND ME...
Footage of the tank chase punctuates this bleak tale of the transformation of a thriving defense-industry town of the Cold War era into a San Diego suburb that has decayed into a desperate strip-mall wasteland. Newsreel footage of an idyllic San Diego in the 50s and 60s representing middle class aspirations of economic prosperity is juxtaposed with 90s images of shuttered defense plants, jobless blue-collar suburbanites and drug abuse. Statements by cops, historians and real estate agents sketch out the rise and fall of this Pentagon-fueled boomtown, tracing the neighborhood's social ills back to World War II, the Vietnam war and unemployment. San Francisco Bay Guardian calls the film,a superb use of mixed media sources...and Cineaste says, The genius of Cul de Sac resides... in the tacit complicity of between filmmaker and audience.
Truly extraordinary... a chilling X-ray of the despair in poor white suburbia.The film ambitiously frames its psychological autopsy and class analysis within the historical context of Southern California's aerospace industry-fueled development and decline.
-The Independent Film & Video Monthly
The way Scott intermixes factual events with social and historical context, within a flawless dramatic tension, is a model of the genre.
The DVD will also include a booklet with two essays -Christian Parenti writing on the film's historical context, and Ian Olds, the editor of Cul de Sac, writing about his work with director Garrett Scott.
CUL DE SAC: A SUBURBAN WAR STORY
A film by Garrett Scott
Color, 57 minutes
UPC # 854565001299
Pre-book Date: March 22, 2011
Street Date: April 19, 2011
[A] terse, scrupulous film, the footage punctuates a bleak tale of a defense-industry town's boom and bust-once a Cold War capital of airplane and missile production, the San Diego suburb has decayed into a strip-mall wasteland... -The Village Voice
This is a truly poignant film, showing how, to paraphrase Mike Davis, under a thin veneer of Californian sunshine, there lurks the murky suburban reality of the American military-industrial complex.
-Anthropology Review Database
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News Editor March 19, 2011, 3:31 pm