Last weekend I stopped by the MOMA to finally see the Cindy Sherman show with the intention of forcing myself to write a blog post about it since I’m not all that interested. Lo and behold, I missed the show by 5 weeks, so I’m writing about these guys instead. silly me.
In 1921, Sheeler (the painter) and Strand (the photographer) collaborated to make this film, Manhatta, inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem. Considered to be the first American avant-garde film, it portrays an ordinary day in Lower Manhattan through 65 nonnarrative shots.
The film caught my eye, and I hesitated at first since I have a tiny attention span for museum videos, but I got hooked. I ended up standing in the middle of the room watching the whole 10:58, projected dimly in the corner of the 3rd floor. It definitely looks cool and the extreme angles are dynamic and fascinating, but what struck me most is how little that part of the city seems to have changed in 91 years. I’ve also spent a lot of time capturing footage of Lower Manhattan, studying the narrative of everyday life. It feels timeless.
Sometimes the comments below YouTube videos catch my eye. Usually it’s because they’re idiotic, but occasionally I learn something interesting …
Woody Allen’s opening to his movie ‘Manhattan’ is an homage to this great film, the first comprehensive motion portrait of modern New York City. A day in the life…
TigerRocket 8 months ago
And the idiotic …
When I first saw the movie [Manhattan], I was around 17. I liked it, but skipped this part, thinking: wtf, 3 minutes of new york shots with some old-fashioned music? When I was 20, I understood it. Pure lover of the city.
Now, I only watch this opening, once a day. It makes me want to live.
Isket22 7 months ago
Shame NY is a shithole
Lousypenguin 3 weeks ago