"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
The New York Review of Books recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding (previously), growing out of an alliance between Harpers editor Robert Silvers and writer Elizabeth Hardwick to find a place for what she called "the unusual, the difficult, the lengthy, the intransigent, and above all, the interesting." Known as the New York Review or the NYRB, it is also known to fans as the best magazine in the world. Next Monday, HBO will air The 50-Year Argument, a documentary by Martin Scorsese about the history of the magazine and what makes it special. [more inside]
An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
James Nares' new exhibition 'Street' is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in NYC. It is an HD video of pedestrians in Manhattan, slowed way, way down. Watch 2:17 of the 61 minute piece here, and another 2:01 clip here. Villlage Voice, New York Times, Vogue, and an interview with Nares in Interview. [more inside]
New York Biotopes deals with abstract plants and creatures, which change their forms because of insufficient living space and adapt themselves to the surroundings of the metropolis New York City. Set to the music of Man Mantis. More videos from Lena Steinkühler on her Vimeo channel.
High maintenance: a nameless cannabis delivery guy delivers his much-needed medication to stressed-out New Yorkers in this character-driven web series.
Fresh is the story of a 12 year old drug pusher and the world he inhabits. It stars Sean Nelson as Fresh, Samuel L. Jackson as his father, Sam, and Giancarlo Esposito as the dealer Esteban. The whole film is on Youtube in multiple parts.
Spike Lee on New York, Obama, film, Hollywood, reality teevee, marriage equality, Taylor Lautner, and so forth.
A two-foot piece of wood or plastic mounted on wheels, it yields to the skillful user the excitements of skiing or surfing. To the unskilled it gives the effect of having stepped on a banana peel while dashing down the back stairs. It is also a menace to live and even limb. Life magazine article on skateboarding in New York City, from the May 14, 1965 issue. Pictures from that article are now online in larger form (one-page view on another site). See also: The New York Skate Movie trailer on YouTube. [more inside]
Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman, long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog in his future. The Voice has an archive of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006, and here they are for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here is a compilation of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema. Here are some interviews with him about his work.
Zaire Paige had a breakout role in Antoine Fuqua's movie, Brooklyn's Finest. He was seen as a rising star. But, it all went away when he murdered a gang rival and was sentenced to 107 years in prison. [more inside]
A Year of New York in 5 minutes. Cameraman Andrew Clancy lives in New York City, and was in the habit of shooting footage of what was going on around him whenever he was out. This is a compilation of life in the city, from the point of view of a New Yorker.
Bill Cunningham New York is a wonderful documentary about a fascinating man, now available on Hulu. [more inside]
The Newport. Harry's. Fluties. Indochine. Nell's. Cornell Club. The New York Yacht Club. The regular places.
One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads, including David Byrne and Tina Weymouth. Later, Byrne passed Tobolowsky on his bike and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head. The song was heard by Thom Yorke and became the name of his band. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence. [more inside]
Have you ever gotten lost in the Myst-inspired architecture of Anthology Film Archives’ website, or struggled awkwardly with the Chinese puzzle box-construction of BAMcinematek’s calendars? Have you ever circled the block at Lincoln Plaza in search of the secret entrance to the fabled Walter Reade Theater? (Hint: look behind the waterfall.) Have you found yourself asking time and again, “What the fuck is Union Docs?”The brainchild of critic Paul Brunick, Alt Screen is a new site billed as "a comprehensive digital resource covering film exhibitions and related special events in the New York City area." The contributing editors include blogger Jim Emerson, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [previously] and Nathan Lee (apparently coming out of retirement).
"Toity poiple boids / Sittin on da koib / A-choipin an’ a-boipin / An’ eatin doity woims." From Atlantic Avenue to Zerega Avenue (map), the kinds of New York City accents made famous by the likes of Archie Bunker, Jimmy Breslin and Travis Bickle are disappearing. But though you may not often hear “foath floah” for "fourth floor" in Manhattan anymore, documentary filmmaker Heather Quinlan knows you can still hear strains of the old mellifluous tones in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx, and that's exactly what she's setting out to document in her film If These Knishes Could Talk.
Brooklyn to New York via the Brooklyn Bridge as shot by the Edison Manufacturing Co. in 1899. (SLYT) [more inside]
The list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable. Last Address uses images of the exteriors of the houses, apartment buildings, and lofts where these and others were living at the time of their deaths to mark the disappearance of a generation. The film is a remembrance of that loss, as well as an evocation of the continued presence of these artists work in our lives and culture. (via)
A New York City film location scout (mentioned before, here and here) revisits the scenes of the movie Taxi Driver (1976) and compares them to what's there now. [more inside]
I work as a film location scout in New York City. My day is basically spent combing the streets for interesting and unique locations for feature films. In my travels, I often stumble across some pretty incredible sights, most of which are ignored every day by thousands of New Yorkers in too much of a rush to pay attention. As it happens, it's my job to pay attention, and I've started this blog to keep a record of what I see.
Bike Kill 2004 - a 5 min QT clip documenting the Black Label Bike Club’s annual Bike Kill in Brooklyn, recently shown at Bicycle Film Festival 2005. These guys party hard. via in case of mishaps
Big Fun in the Big Town Incredible German-produced documentary on hip hop and NY street culture from 1986. Features interviews and performances from Grandmaster Flash, Doug E Fresh, Run DMC, Roxanne Shante & Biz Markie, Schoolly D, and more.