There’s a scene in Cameron Crowe’s film “Singles” in which Campbell Scott pitches to Mayor Tom Skerritt the Supertrain: a high speed commuter train which he believes would solve Seattle’s horrendous traffic problems. The Mayor smiles and nods throughout the impassioned speech. But when Scott is done, Skerritt shuts him down in four words. He’d made up his mind before Scott even opened his mouth. This scene perfectly sums up Seattle’s perpetual transportation issue. There are always people pushing to build one effective public transportation system, but our car-happy government is resistant to it, instead focusing on the roads, which only become more congested. Though they did approve a billion-dollar novelty streetcar to Paul Allen so that we now have not one, but TWO extremely slow trains, neither of which travels more than 2 miles.
Stephen Gyllenhaal’s new film, “Grassroots,” is based on the “mostly true” story of music-critic-turned-politician Grant Cogswell (Joel David Moore), whose passion for making the touristy Seattle Monorail a viable commuter option led to a bid for City Council in 2001. “Singles” was released in 1992. In 2012, Seattle STILL hasn’t resolved the issue. That’s twenty years of congestion (both governmental and vehicular). If you lived here, you wouldn’t be home by now.
If you’re already bored to tears reading about transportation in Seattle, you might want to skip “Grassroots.” That’s mostly what it’s about. On the other hand, if you have even a passing interest in political activism, you just may get something out of it anyway…
Read the rest at Film Threat.
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