A stationary camera captures the hustle and bustle of Manhattan on Broadway at Union Square in Greenwich Village. As streetcars pass with rapid regularity, two police officers make sure ... See full summary »
A stationary camera captures the hustle and bustle of Manhattan on Broadway at Union Square in Greenwich Village. As streetcars pass with rapid regularity, two police officers make sure that pedestrians who are crossing the street do so safely. Horse-drawn carriages pass as well. The men wear hats and ties; the lads wear caps; the women are in long skirts. Written by
This footage of New York City at Broadway and Union Square is interesting, detailed, and well-photographed. It is worthwhile historically, both in preserving what the area looked like and in preserving some of the routines of daily life in its day. Though both have no doubt changed considerably, early movies like this make it possible to remember them.
As with so many of the early Lumière features, this one is worth watching a number of times so that you can see all the detail. The activity in the foreground, with the vehicles, the pedestrians, and the policeman directing all of them, grabs your attention first. There is also some fairly good detail of some large buildings in the distant background, which come to the eye next. Finally, there is a good bit of action going on in the nearer, but less noticeable, part of the background.
No doubt much of what appears in this footage will at first seem old-fashioned or even quaint, yet footage of our cities of today will probably seem equally so in a century or so from now. Short movies like this serve a valuable purpose in keeping alive the ways of life in long-past eras, so that thoughtful viewers can think for themselves about what is different, at least on the surface, and what is essentially the same.
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