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The Great Northwest2012

  • 3.8
An experimental documentary based on the re-creation of a 3,200 mile road-trip made in 1958 by four Seattle women who thoroughly documented their journey in an elaborate scrapbook. Fifty years later, Portland filmmaker Matt McCormick found that scrapbook in a thrift store, and in 2010 set out on the road, following their route as precisely as possible and searching out every stop in which the ladies had documented. In 1958, Bev, Berta, Sissie and Clarice packed into a Plymouth and hit the road. Visiting tourist attractions and national parks in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, they explored the Pacific Northwest just months before the construction of dams and the Interstate Highway System would drastically change the landscape. Along the way they took photographs, kept notes, and collected menus, brochures, post-cards and receipts, all of which the organized into a crafty scrapbook. Patiently shot with an observational and voyeuristic approach, THE GREAT NORTHWEST is a lyrical time-capsule that explores the fragility of history while documenting the present. Using only location sound recordings and void of any narration or music, the film paints a portrait of the region while exploring how the visual landscape of the region has changed over the past 50 years. While documenting transformations in culture, architecture, and land-use, the film explores the region’s relationship to natural resources, looks at the history of roads, and considers the impact of tourism on the history and development of the American West.

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2 members like this review

Fantastic documentary of a truly memorable road trip.

Member Reviews (6)

Fantastic documentary of a truly memorable road trip.

2 members like this review

I absolutely loved this. Having made trips to most of those places over the years, it's nice to see many exist today. Great piece of work!

1 member likes this review

Well done documentary especially since I'm from the area (Portland). Interesting that although over 50 years have passed, things are really not that much different aside from the new roads and strip malls.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

really wonderful really beautiful a bit sad_what we mess up & destroy-_but all in all it's pretty sweet

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top reviewer

good memories...

I did. Inspiring.