January 27, 2011

I’ve been to Las Vegas many times and have always experienced a familiar roller coaster of reactions to the city, from being fascinated and seeing it as a profound expression of grand historical forces and liberatory impulses to just seeing it as a totally fucking depressing place. I don’t think I’ve ever had such strong reactions to a city. This film is an expression of much of that and weaves together several elements: a visual portrait of Las Vegas; informal, verite-ish interviews with a wide range of interesting people we came across while shooting; archival images of the city from the 1950s and 60s; along with some first-person voice-over musings about the city and its history. My hope is that this film does justice to the endlessly fascinating, spectacularly libidinous, and deeply disturbing nature of Las Vegas and its history. —Sam Green

This piece was commissioned by David van der Leer and Terry Riley for the “And Then It Became a City” exhibit at the Shenzen Biennial of Design and Architecture.