Stations of the Elevated (1981) is a 45-minute city symphony directed, produced and edited by Manfred Kirchheimer. Shot on lush 16mm color reversal stock, the film weaves together vivid ...
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Stations of the Elevated (1981) is a 45-minute city symphony directed, produced and edited by Manfred Kirchheimer. Shot on lush 16mm color reversal stock, the film weaves together vivid images of graffiti- covered elevated subway trains crisscrossing the gritty urban landscape of 1970s New York, to a commentary-free soundtrack that combines ambient city noise with jazz and gospel by Charles Mingus and Aretha Franklin. Gliding through the South Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan - making a rural detour past a correctional facility upstate - Stations of the Elevated is an impressionistic portrait of and tribute to a New York that has long since disappeared.
This is not a movie - there is no narrative. It is the essence of what makes new york new york - the movement, the metal, the concrete, the gritty. It is an expression of the idea that the city is never at one time motionless, that all people and things are moving, living, and ticking like gears. The jazz music is a reminder of the city's irregular rhythm, it's unique pulse. Like a nature film, this documentary focuses on slithering trains through a concrete jungle, using angles a kin to nat geo cameramen in the bush. You sit, watching the city go by, wondering if it all there is some meaning to the lifecycle within the city's ever-moving populous
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