Images of street life in New York's Spanish Harlem during the 1940s.
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Images of street life in New York's Spanish Harlem during the 1940s.

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1940s | street life | harlem | See All (3) »

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Documentary | Short

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21 January 2013 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Featured in New York: A Documentary Film (1999) See more »

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A brilliant and evocative account of New York street life of the 1940s
16 June 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This film if it was directed at all, was 'directed' by the legendary New York writer, screenplay writer, critic and reviewer James Agee. Siegfried Kracauer in his book Theory of Film wrote an evocative appreciation of the film: On the one hand, this film is nothing but a reportage pure and simple; its shots of Harlem scenes are so loosely juxtaposed that they almost give the impression of a random sample. A child behind a window is seen licking the pane; a woman with a terrible face passes by; a young man languidly watches the spectacle in the street; Negro children, intoxicated by their Halloween masks, dance and romp about with complete self-abandon. On the other hand, this reporting job is done with unconcealed compassion for the people depicted: the camera dwells on them tenderly; they are not meant to stand for anything but themselves (Kracauer 203).


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