I used this as a draft for my metroblogging Austin entry. Apologies for the duplication if you read both. If you don't get time to see it at the Drafthouse, it will be out in September on DVD...
Cassidy and I went Saturday afternoon. Wow. Alright, I know I don't really know much about Austin, I know "keep Austin weird" isn't just a bumper sticker but really I had no idea.
While I can see that there are many people who wouldn't agree with the main message and direction the film takes, as someone that swims a Barton Springs two or three times a week, I found this film really profound and found myself weeping twice during the film. I won't pretend to do a balanced review of the film, I don't think I could.
The main thrust of the film is about the development of the Circle-C ranch, apparently a sub-division(another good reasons why I couldn't turn in a balanced view of the film, I don't understand much of the terminology used) and the impact it could have on Barton Springs. While the film could have demonised developers, it didn't for me. It did fairly show that the balance is out of kilter when it comes to developing new, green field sites.
The film is a thought provoking cross over between documentary, story telling and historical record. I suspect that editorial changes made some of the things the people interviewed seem even more prophetic, the small boy who liked living in the new house but was concerned they'd finish the rest of the houses, as he'd have no space to play; the couple who were complaining about their inability to water their new lawn, but people come first. The best speaker for me wasn't Robert Redford, erudite though he was, journalist William Greider summed it up best for me, "Growth itself is not the enemy, it is the nature of that growth—the quality within."
the Unforseen is still showing at the Alamo Drafthouse South, although screenings are getting fewer and fewer as the weeks go by. The current screening list is here.
If you moved to Austin after 1995, or were not old enough to remember the Circle C/Barton Springs fight, maybe like me you thought George Bush only started to mess up when he got to the White House, this is the best use of 90-minutes of your time this week!