This weekend’s hot doc is Detropia, the latest from Jesus Camp directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. A painterly ode to a recession-ravaged empire, the movie explores the rock-bottom state of Detroit, and questions whether or not it has the stuff to rebuild itself. A unique metropolis, Motor City is one offbeat cinematic setting, far from the glamor of New York and the commonness of Toronto, Hollywood’s go-to stand-in town. Only a handful of films have been set in Detroit (and even fewer have actually been filmed there), but we scrounged up an eclectic selection, boasting the likes of Clint Eastwood, Carl Weathers, Warren Beatty, and Eminem.
8 Mile (2002). Surely few had high hopes for the big-screen debut of Marshall Mathers, given the sour track record of star musicians making such a leap. But Curtis Hanson largely exceeded the low expectations of 8 Mile, delivering a watchable work with the right amount of urban grit, and capping it off with a cheer-worthy rap-battle finale. Set in Detroit circa 1995, the film gets its name from 8 Mile Road, a highway that stretches along the city’s northern boundary, and a great street on which to lose oneself.