Piece Comment

Review of City X

"Who wants to walk around downtown in the middle of winter?" asks a character in this futuristic, suburban, head-spinning, insightful documentary by Jonathan Mitchell. The answer, of course, is this: "Nobody." In City X, Mitchell masterfully layers interviews with average people, architects, bus drivers (who knows really, none of them are identified) into a mosaic of sound that gives us a clear understanding of why Americans love malls. Here are just a few comments, each delightfully enunciated in the documentary: "It was metropolitan ... When it came, we were hip and happening. We were a real town. We weren't just some little spot in the middle of the cornfield. We've made it!" There's also great stuff in here about mall culture: How the boys go there to scope out girls, how the girls go there to be scoped out by the boys, the mysteries of how to pronounce the "exotic" gyro and a debate about where to find the best parking spot. One person loves the lower level down by Sears. Another absolutely swears by the entrance that leads right into the middle of the Food Court. And to push the narrative forward, Mitchell uses Muzak, real Muzak, as his sole musical accompaniment.