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POOL PARTY

USA, 2010 (MIFF 2011, Our Space)

Director: Beth Aala

POOL PARTY

An abandoned swimming pool becomes one of New York's most significant music venues since CBGBs.

When the McCarren Pool opened in Williamsburg in 1936, it was the size of a football field with the capacity to hold 6,800 bathers. When it closed abruptly in 1983, it became a hang out for gangs, junkies, graffiti artists and the homeless.

Fast-forward nearly 25 years and this neighbourhood boasts a vibrant international music scene - the result of a canny choreographer identifying the potential of the empty pool as a performance space. Since its redevelopment in 2005, bands like The Beastie Boys, Black Lips, The Breeders and Yo La Tengo have all performed at the wildly successful Pool Party concerts.

Beth Aala's debut documentary is an inspiring and enjoyable tale of an urban renewal success story, charting an inevitable journey from decay to gentrification to commercialisation.

D Beth Aala P Beth Aala, Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick WS Pinay Pictures TD HD Cam/2010

See also...

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I WISH I KNEW

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Jia Zhang-ke, China's most acclaimed contemporary filmmaker, turns his gaze toward the ultimate mega-city: Shanghai. ... Commissioned for last year's Shanghai World Fair - but overcoming its roots as… More »

FOREIGN PARTS

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"Gentrification, economic inequality, class conflict, and the rusty reality of the American Dream." - Village Voice ... Willets Point is an almost forgotten industrial corner of Queens, tucked behind… More »

DETROIT WILD CITY

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What would the apocalypse look like? ... Home to the US automobile industry, Detroit was once the gleaming hub of America's industrial engine. But as the economy disintegrates, Detroit has become the… More »

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