Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Robot Too Far

Pittsburgh and Detroit. Seems like a new meme and maybe it is in a certain sense.  But the two industrial cities have long been linked in both industry and culture. So it goes in film. This comes to mind because it looks like they may have screwed up the remake to Robocop.  Pity. The move and the video game were personal favs. 

The original Robocop was set in a postmodern Detroit, but where was it filmed? The bright shiny vision of the future was filmed in Dallas, while the dystopian scenes needed a postindustrial landscape depicting utter destruction and despair. Where did they find such a pre-made set in 1986? Both the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh plant in Monessen and the Duquesne Works fit the bill to a tee.  If anything, both locations likely needed to be cleaned up before they were used. The use of Duquesne is more than symbolic. When it shut down in 1984, an historic effort was put together trying to "Save Dorothy," the primary blast furnace in operation at Duquesne. Many know that history well and it may be the seminal point in Pittsburgh's economic history. Dorothy was not saved and its last use was as backdrop for an unthinkable future, then Pittsburgh's present.

To crib from a previous post here...  and via the robocoparchive.com (talk about the long tail of the Internet) I found this image showing film location...
http://www.igorantunes.com.br/temp/duquesne.jpg

and finally, art imitates life imitating art. In Detroit they even have an active Kickstarter campaign to erect a Robocop statue there. I don't know what to say on that, but if the Stallone statue can become iconic in Philly, why not a Robocop statue in Detroit. Not sure what statue to erect here in Duquesne.




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