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Detroit Drone Flyover Reveals a City in Ruins

Factories look, frankly, post-apocalyptic in cinematographer John Marton's drone flyover of the Motor City.

Beckett Mufson

Beckett Mufson

Detroit may be in the midst of an artistic renaissance, spawning museums and supporting burgeoning musicians and photographers by offering them cheap rent and lots of free time—sound familiar, Brooklyn?—but as cinematographer John Marton captured in a drone short film late last year, there's a whole lot of city that could use a little more than TLC. In Detroit Drone, blown out windows, gaping wall holes, and streets littered with the guts of buildings make it look more like the spoils of war than urban decay, and paired with appropriately dirty guitar riffs from Jim Jarmusch's band, SQURL, it's a fascinating disaster tour that looks, frankly, post-apocalyptic (Read: Ryan Gosling on Dreams, Detroit, and His Directorial Debut ‘Lost River’). 

Of course, Marton's video only provides part of the story. The Detroit Design Festival will celebrate its fifth successive year this September, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center promotes art events in the city every month, and projects like Parallel Projections' Reanimate the Ruins efforts to revitalize the historic Packard Motor Plant—the full deterioration of which you can see in FIREGROUNDIMAGES' drone short below—are providing beautiful repairs to the very ruins seen in Marton's film.

There's a lot to be hopeful for, for sure, but Detroit Drone shows that there's quite a ways to go.

See more of John Marton's videos on his website.

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