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Archive for the ‘Subdivided’ Category

Subdivided plays the USA Film Festival April 22

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

USA Film Festival Dallas

Subdivided will play the USA Film Festival Sunday April 22nd @ 3pm
And what a great group of folks they are by the way - really.


Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Note: There’s one more broadcast of Subdivided on PBS station KERA this Tuesday Jan 9 @ 11PM.

There’s a criticism that has now reached the the status of a cliche of calling documentaries someone does not agree with “documentaries.” It is put in quotes supposedly to imply that it is not a “real” documentary. A “real” documentary, if I can hazard a guess at what these people believe, is one that presents “facts” in a way that is agreeable to whatever political persuasion is acceptable to them. I’ve most often heard this leveled at Michael Moore’s films from the right for example, though its also been leveled at conservative films from the left. The problem with this is that its yet another mechanism by which people are able to dismiss something by giving it a label - like calling someone liberal or conservative or whatever. Once labeled, they no longer have to deal with the subject or the person in any serious way. How convenient. They can ignore the arguments, the “facts,” the research, hundreds of years of history, etc. How lazy. More importantly, they misunderstand documentary and non fiction film in a fundamental way.

They are assuming that actual Truth and therefore Objectivity can be embodied in language and media. Well, they can’t, even if there were such things as “Truth” and “Objectivity.” My working assumption is that there are only perspectives, and to pretend otherwise is dishonest or delusional. The worst kind of documentaries are the ones that do just that: they pretend to have presented everything fully and objectively. “Balanced.” Well, balance itself is a matter of perspective. Just because there is an authoritative voice and a major news organization logo attached doesn’t mean it’s any less perspectival that a YouTube video. The “voice” of the film is a disembodied, corporate voice. It’s daddy, or god, or whoever. Don’t fall for it. See it for what it is. The problem with documentary is not that it is has an agenda and a perspective, it’s that people - both viewers and producers - like to pretend that it doesn’t.

In Subdivided, because its personal, each issue is distorted and magnified and colored through a lens. Some issues take on more prominence, others are not even present. This is done on purpose. The journalistic conceit of presenting “both sides” is not credible because not only are there an infinite number of sides on the on hand, there is often only one that matters. Slavery for example. And even if an attempt is made to present the major views on a subject, these are also relative to what is considered acceptable conversation and debate and is highly contextual. In many circles there are things you cannot talk about, assumptions you cannot question. That’s not balanced or objective, and you see it every night on the evening news and every day in the papers.

So with all this in mind, Subdivided is consciously a personal perspective. It is a wash of images and views and ideas that have filtered through my head for three years and come out as a particular kind of statement. It’s not intended to be comprehensive, completely logical, or bulletproof. If I wanted to attempt something like that I would have written a book (and it still wouldn’t have been comprehensive, perfectly logical, or bulletproof!). Subdivided is a film essay. Of all the media pieces that I gathered, these are the ones that resonated with me and made, in my view and from my aesthetic, an interesting and pleasing sequence of images and sound.

Feedback on the KERA screening - what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Had some interesting comments and questions during the radio interview on 90.1 KERA today (which I’ll upload later), and I’ve received quite a few email comments. If you have comments please leve them on the subdivided site here. If you would like to keep up with my future film, internet, and writing projects send me a note at [dean at] and I’ll put you on a mailing list, or just check from time to time. Thanks!


Subdivided to Air on PBS Station KERA January 3

Friday, December 29th, 2006


Subdivided will air on PBS Station KERA in early January. Here are the dates and times:

Wednesday January 3rd 8PM (Premiere)

• Saturday January 6th @ 3am (Tivo / DVR special!)

• Tuesday January 8th @ 11pm

KERAThanks to the kind folks at KERA and Bart WeissFrame of Mind for making it happen.

Here’s a short trailer that will be running on KERA leading up to the broadcast.

Finally there will be a radio interview with yours truly on KERA 90.1 radio on Wednesday January 3rd @ 12pm (the day of the premiere)

National distribution and festival screenings news coming soon. Keep up with it at the official Subdivided film website.



Early Buzz for Dallas Screening of Subdivided

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Looks like the folks in Little Forest Hills (the neighborhood profiled in Subdivided) sent Robert Wilonsky a post about the upcoming KERA screening (Jan 3 @ 8pm on KERA 13). He kindly wrote a note about it on the Dallas Observer blog.

Michael Davis over at Dallas Progress also picked it up. I read through his blog and noticed an interesting post about how San Diego has banned giant retail stores. Hard to imagine that outside of the west coast and certain parts of New England.
Thanks Michael for the kind words on the film!

Stills from Subdivided on Flickr

Sunday, November 19th, 2006


A lot of new stills from Subdivided have been uploaded to flickr.

Subdivided Blog

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

The Blog for Subdivided is up. I’ll put most of the Subdivided news related to screenings, festivals, broadcasts, talks, etc there. I’ll also be putting regular updates on the participants in the film, especially Robert Putnam, Andres Duany, and James Kunstler, who are very active. Subdivided will premiere in January on PBS Station KERA, and the DVD will be available then as well.
It’s been a long road…

Andres Duany: The New Civic Art

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Andres Duany: The New Civic Art

Originally uploaded by Dean Terry.

The Cover of Andres Duany’s new book The New Civic Art

Duany is featured in the documentary film “Subdivided” by yours truly.

Subdivided Pre-Release Screening

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

subdivided documentary film

In honor of the neighborhood where it was principally shot, the final version
of Subdivided will have its first public screening in Little Forest
Hills next Tuesday at 7pm. Location: 1450 Oldgate, White Rock United Methodist
Church Dallas TX 75218 (map).

After three and a half years of work, the documentary film will be airing
in the Dallas area in the next month or so and travel to other cities in the
Fall. The website is
going up, and a DVD is in production. Details to follow. Check for


Subdivided Clip: McMansions & Community

Friday, April 14th, 2006