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Rick Prelinger Presents: Lost Landscapes of New York


Co-presented by Museum of the Moving Image and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

Since 2006, film historian and archivist extraordinaire Rick Prelinger has presented twenty participatory urban-history events to enthusiastic audiences in San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Oakland, and at festivals throughout the world. For the first time, he is bringing his Lost Landscapes project to New York City. 

Lost Landscapes of New York (approx. 85 mins., HD video transferred from 35mm, 16mm and 8mm film) mixes home movies by New Yorkers, tourists, and semi-professional cinematographers with outtakes from feature films and background “process plates” picturing granular details of New York’s cityscape. The combination of intimate moments, memories from many New York neighborhoods, and a variety of rare cinematic perspectives forms a 21st-century city symphony whose soundtrack will be provided by the audience. Viewers will be invited to comment, to ask questions and to interact with one another as the screening unfolds.

Lost Landscapes of New York will span much of the twentieth century, covering daily life, work, celebration, social change, and the city’s changing streetscapes. Almost all of the footage in the film has never been shown publicly. Highlights include: the streets and people of the Lower East Side, Harlem, Williamsburg, and Queens; a 1930s train ride from the Bronx to Grand Central; a visit to pre-demolition Penn Station and the Lincoln Center area pre-redevelopment; street photographers in Times Square; 1931 Times Square scenes in color; Spanish Harlem in the 1960s; housing shortages and civil rights protests in 1940s Harlem; Manhattan’s exuberant neon signage; elevated trains in the 1920s and 1930s; garment strikes in the 1930s; Depression-era “Hoovervilles”; crowds at Coney Island in the 1920s; Italian Americans in Brooklyn in the 1930s; 1960s Puerto Rican community activism; and a visit to both 1939–40 and 1964–65 Worlds’ Fairs.

This event is presented in cooperation with NYU Cinema Studies and its Orphan Film Symposium.

This event is sold out. Please note: Two encore screenings have been added on February 10 and 11 at the Museum. Find out more here.

Tickets: $20 / $15 Museum membersOrder tickets online. (Members may contact [email protected] for discount code and other questions regarding online reservations.)

Reminder: This event takes place at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 Laguardia Place, Manhattan. Map