I got a peek
before the Film Arts Foundation's showing on
Wednesday at David Brown's "The
Far,'' a funny and terrifying
look at what's been delaying the new Bay
Bridge. My favorite startling moment of this tale is when
Mary King, head of the Bay
Design Task Force, complains that when she went to Treasure Island
to talk with redevelopment director Annemarie Conroy about plans for
bridge, Conroy gave her only a
dry sandwich for lunch. It was bologna, she said, and as I reflect
upon it today, maybe she was kidding.
possibility that she wasn't tells you all you need to know about
the spirit of cooperation in which this project has
San Francisco Examiner
up Bay Bridge Changes?
SAN FRANCISCO -
For a filmmaker whose
documentaries frequently extol grass-roots democracy, the realization
that too much civic involvement is possible came as a surprise to
David L. Brown.
March 10, 2006
But after six months of research
and filming for his latest project about the construction of the
eastern span of the Bay Bridge, it's hard to deny, Brown said. A
Brisbane resident, he figures it was too much input from too many
voices, coupled with political meddling that is primarily to blame for
the 16-year delay in reconstructing the country's second busiest
bridge. In “The Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story,” scheduled to air
this Sunday, Brown humorously depicts the political backbiting,
engineering miscues, and marathon public debates with cartoons (a la
Michael Moore) along with commentary from the likes of satirist Will
political junkies and pocket protector-wearing engineers probably have
long planned to curl up on the couch Saturday and watch a documentary
about the ongoing construction of the new Bay Bridge.
why should the rest of us care to view "The Bridge So Far - A Suspense
Story" (5 p.m. Saturday on Channel 10)? After all, doesn't all that
political squabbling, bureaucratic mumbo jumbo and engineer geek-speak
just make your hair hurt? All we really care about is crossing the
bridge on a Saturday night without getting stalled in traffic or
tossed into the bay if the Big One hits, right?
also this: The documentary is very funny. And as a bonus, you'll find
yourself learning something - almost against your will.
producer-director David L. Brown was able to create a snarky and
compelling documentary - leaning more toward Michael Moore filmmaking
territory than Ken Burns - is surprising in itself. See, Brown's
project was sponsored by the Professional Engineers in California
Government, an organization that represents Caltrans workers.