Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Local Filmmaker Shines Spotlight on Detroit

I have always enjoyed watching movies that are filmed in Detroit.

Whether it's seeing Chin Tiki or the old Michigan Theater garage in Eminem's runaway-hit 8 Mile, or catching a glimpse of familar Eastside streets in the '99 Soderbergh remake of Out of Sight, a movie filmed in the D seems to evoke a sense of pride in me; it's kind of like watching your child score the winning goal at a soccer game, except instead of smiling and saying, "Yes, that's my son," I smile and say, "Yes, that's my city".

Given my love for all things Detroit, you can probably imagine, then, the utter joy I experienced last week when I learned that the individual I was talking with at the time was involved in a Detroit film project of his own. Here's a little bit of what I uncovered about it, and links to further information on it:

Created and produced by Detroit's Prince Igor Productions, the film is a documentary that focuses on one of the D's most beloved structures: the Book-Cadillac Hotel.

A view of the Book-Cadillac Hotel from the corner of
Washington Boulevard and Grand River

Although the film's creator, Frank Nemecek, didn't go into depth with me about the specifics of his movie, I imagine that it'll include some shots of the once-glorious hotel's insides (which are heart-wrenching, to say the least), as well as some little known information he uncovered while researching the mammoth 1200-room structure, which was once frequented by the likes of Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy.

A picture of downtown Detroit that I took last year.
The Book-Cadillac Hotel is the highlighted building on the far right.

Of course, I am sure the film is made up of much more than those two things, but that's all I can offer you for now. Well, that, and a small preview.

If all goes as planned, though, you'll be able to find out all of what Frank uncovered in his
Book-Cadillac studies sometime during late August or early September, when he plans to show the documentary at the Detroit Film Theater.