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Date completed: August 2010
Genre: Documentary Short
Running time: 3 minutes, 10 seconds
Country of production: USA
Language: English
Video: Mini DV, NTSC, 16:9
Audio: Stereo (2.0)

Synopsis

When one block of San Francisco is transformed into a pedestrian plaza in 72 hours, the city’s first-ever trial street closure gives birth to an urban oasis.

Production Notes

The directors visited the plaza site more than a dozen times in the spring and summer of 2009. Photos of plaza construction were taken by Rodgers and Chan as well as gathered from fellow urban planning and public space enthusiasts.  Video footage and ambient sound from the plaza’s first few weekends show residents quickly taking advantage of their new public gathering space.

The film’s first minute sets still images of the plaza’s construction to excerpts of the “Neither Major Nor Minor” (Andrew Van Wart) percussive instrumental.  While some heavy machinery was needed, the most necessary element for the plaza’s birth was the relatively simple act of closing a street to traffic.

The subsequent two minutes interweave ambient plaza sounds with the ambient strummings of “Acoustica” (Andrew Van Wart).  The more frequent initial interruptions illustrate how one may initially be distracted from sipping one’s coffee or taking a bite out of bagel while a car roars by or a streetcar cuts through the middle of the plaza.  The longer ambient and musical passes toward the end reflect how visitors can eventually lose themselves in the plaza to read a book, knit, or even practice guitar.

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