Rick Prelinger Presents: Lost Landscapes of New York
Co-presented by Museum of the Moving Image and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
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.