Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Logan's Run Diorama

(Image by Keith Goldman)
Keith Goldman is my personal hero today. This guy used Legos to recreate scenes from Logan's Run. Let me tell you a little about how cool this is to me. As you may know, I'm fascinated by miniature cities. I call 'em "tiny towns," but basically I'm referring to any model of urban life whose small size allows its creator to produce an interesting effect upon the viewer. This effect might include the pleasure of the God's eye view, the ability to see everything, or some approximation of everything, in one perfect gaze. Another effect is the paradox of conflation: placing distant, even contradictory, locales in close proximity to each other (echoes of omnitopia).

Logan's Run exemplifies that God's eye view. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that the movie was my first experience with that kind of a vision. A 1976 sci-fi dystopia, Logan's Run can't be recommended for its acting or story. Mostly it's famed for a set that, at the time, was a remarkable achievement in miniaturization: a domed city filled with gorgeous people living an idyllic life - with just one catch. Today that amazing city looks obviously, painfully, like a plastic toy. But maybe that was kind of the point back then.

Since I was eight years old back in '76, and because we didn't have money to see flicks that often, I was only able to catch snippets of Logan's Run through trailers than ran on television. I also remember seeing a book that contained stills from the movie, though I guess the tie-in was just a repackaged version of the William F. Nolan novel. I felt stuck outside that domed city, unable to visit for more than a fleeting moment. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that a television series was set to air in the fall of 1977.

(Image by Keith Goldman)
Sadly, the show was, if anything, even more cheesy than the movie; I don't remember watching more than a couple episodes. No matter, I erected my very Logan's Run city in my room, using Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs and whatever other building toys I could gather. Without getting overly psychological, I recall finding real joy in producing an idealized metropolis of order and control. My domed city was a therapeutic counterpoint to the chaos I sometimes found outside my closed door [I've written about this elsewhere in, of all things, an essay on Waffle House].

Thus I am so pleased to see this Goldman fellow perfecting that fantasy in Lego form. He had his own reasons, of course. I wouldn't presume to guess them. But for all the ironic detachment one can muster for a project such as his - and you've got to have a sense of humor to reproduce scenes from Logan's Run in Lego form (even using that swell tilt-shifting technique to create a sense of depth) - I'm sure that Keith also knows the pleasures of assuming a God's eye perpective on a world that otherwise can overwhelm us, children and adults alike.

(Image by Keith Goldman)
Check out Keith Goldman's Flickr page to see his version of Logan's Run

Check out images of contemporary lodging environments that may remind you of Logan's Run: San Francisco Atrium Hotels


Keith Goldman said...

Of all the blogs I've read about this model, this was by far the most thoughtful and interesting.


highway163 said...

So glad you liked it, Keith!