Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Detroit reference in "Syriana"? Previous Next
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Username: Leyland

Post Number: 58
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a tendency to relate things to Detroit when they just don't relate to Detroit (actually, I think a lot of us here might do that...) and dig too deep into things, but I wanted to run this by you guys first. I just saw the movie "Syriana", and admittedly most of the movie was over my head. But my ears perked up when Matt Damon's character got a phone call in a Lebonese palace. He said, "Oh yeah, I'm in Beruit right now- it's great, it's the Paris of the Middle East".

I'm sure you all know once upon a time Detroit was called "The Paris of the Midwest". I couldn't help but feel that the author was making a comparison to Detroit through that play on words. Midwest, Middle East. Later on in the movie, Matt Damon's character goes on to say that Beruit needs to have an actual economy, and not focus on the oil industry or else its prosperity will be short-lived. Sound familiar?

Such a reference would most likely go over like, 99% of the audience's heads, but I thought it was pretty right on. I'm sure the author's an expert on economies and industry and all that stuff and would know the history of a city like Detroit very well. It was such a subtle reference though. Do you think I'm right?
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2112
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 12:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think yer reading too deep ... Beirut has been referred to being the Paris of the middle east independent of any Detroit cross reference, in fact in the 20th century even with a civil war, at least prior to Israel's invasion, Beirut was noted for being quite cosmopolitian and resillient in a particularly war torn part of the world. I understand that right now Beruit has rebuilt quite a bit since it bottomed out in the early 90's (in fact it kinda puts metro Detroit to shame given what it went through CW Detroit).

Of course, Beruit is an ANCIENT city continuously populated as real city since the BRONZE AGE so to compare it to a new world city (or for that matter a European one) is a bit presumptious. In the nearly 3 millennia oops, make that 4 millennia that Beirut has been a continuously populated city many many cities have risen up and crumbled into dust all over the globe. Yay Semites!

Detroit for all its glory may be but a hiccup in the grand scheme of things ...


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


(Message edited by rustic on February 25, 2006)
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Username: Shark

Post Number: 192
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 12:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pre civil-war and PLO, I think it was commonly referred to as the Paris of the Middle East.
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Username: Tetsua

Post Number: 534
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 1:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I always thought that "The Village" was indirectly a movie about Detroit. People started a community, and told their children to never venture beyond certain marked trees (the trees being like 8 mile) because the things that lived on the other side of the trees were violent (Detroiters). The only protection from these things would be to be in the Village (the suburbs). The parents themselves used to live beyond the trees, and therefore they had all kinds of stories about how bad it had gotten out there.

Later in the movie you find out that there's actually nothing in the woods, and it's a scare tactic created by the parents in the attempt to build a perfect society for their kids. Just like in real life though, their perfect society lacked things that would make life more enjoyable. It certainly lacked cultural diversity.
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 233
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 1:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a similar theme in Logan's Run:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00 74812/
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Username: Arab_guyumich

Post Number: 756
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 1:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rustic pretty much covered everything.

Beirut's new downtown is gorgeous and world class. It really puts Detroit to shame considering that Lebanon is a less-than affluent nation in a volatile part of the world

I can also tell you that Beirut's economy is not dependant on the oil industry. Lebanon has no oil exporting industry to speak of. Lebanon's economy is primarily tourism-based, and it attracts a healthy amount of affluent Gulf Arabs and Europeans each year.

(Message edited by Arab_guyumich on February 25, 2006)

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