Last night we watched Athens, GA: Inside Out and wallowed in nostalgia. Seems like everyone I know has told me about this movie. It’s a low budget documentary about the influential ‘80s Athens music scene. There are performances and interviews with the B-52s and REM and underground icons like Pylon and Love Tractor and Limbo District. Good stuff.
Of course it was a trip to see the musicians (Michael Stipe- so young! Flat Duo Jets- totally a White Stripes prototype!), but it wasn’t the music that made me sentimental. It was the B-roll footage and the establishing shots that seem so precious now. Those grainy drivebys of cattle farms and kudzu-wrapped storefronts. Pedestrians wearing overalls, roadside BBQ stands. The film is a repository of any small town Georgia landscape during my childhood. 20 years ago, Athens was surrounded by cow fields and a lush southern landscape that is by now heavily paved over with big box stores and suburban sprawl.
I bet people all over the world have fallen in love with this movie and flocked to Athens, searching for remnants of the scene. I wonder if they find it?