Entertaining, humorous and original documentary by Gary Burns and Jim Brown exploring the legacy of suburbia, from the rise of the motorcar to the arrival of the "new urbanists".
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Suburban development has been the primary form of community planning in much of the western world for the past 50 years. This entertaining and original documentary by Gary Burns and Jim Brown looks at the legacy of the suburb from the rise of the motorcar until the arrival of the ’new urbanists’. As well as interviews with experts such as author James Howard Kunstler and academic Mark Kingwell, the film "peers right into the windows – and lives – of those who call suburbia home… Burns and Brown tease the documentary form in new directions, mirroring the façade of the suburbs in their filmmaking. Cinematographer Patrick McLaughlin provides a vivid backdrop for Burns’ humour and Brown’s journalism, while Joey Santiago of The Pixies gives the film an added urgency with a grinding rock soundtrack. Like the identical streetscapes of a housing division, Radiant City hides secrets behind its glossy exterior that, once revealed, change not only how we view the ’burbs, but also the movie we’ve just seen.” — Jesse Wente, Toronto Film Festival