A poetic blend of documentary and experimental filmmaking, depicting the changes brought on by urban planning as seen in New York City and the large mechanical claw that demolishes the architecture seen in the film.
Set in NYC with background music from Charles Mingus in place of dialog, this film gives us a look several dozen graffiti-laden subway cars.
The graffiti are eye-catching enough, but across the span of the film we come back to the same cars again and again. The repetition seems purposeful, since plenty of other cars were available for shooting if the filmmaker had wanted. But if the repetition was meant to carry a message or effect, it was lost on me.
The images of subway cars are juxtaposed with other images from the same environment--billboards, notably--and here the effect is to show how the train graffiti compare to their everyday context.
Some of the most memorable images are shadows of standers-by, which are shot from unusual angles. These add yet another intriguing visual component. Watching the barely-moving gray shadows of humans, shot from uncommon vantage points, as we look straight on at the colorful trains passing by underlines the fact that the graffiti-laden trains are the focus of the film.
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