Arrival in the Bronx is shown with a view from an elevated train as it enters the city. Then follows a montage of sights from the Bronx. Many typical neighborhood activities are shown, along with scenes from many local businesses.
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Kiki of Montparnasse,
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A camera on an elevated train enters the Bronx. We look down at morning activity. Three title cards tell us, "The Bronx does business ... and the Bronx lives ... on the street." We look in store windows, at fruit and vegetables on display, and at a newsstand. We see shops and shoppers, carts and autos. A truck dumps coal; the iceman cometh. Drying clothes hang on lines strung between buildings. Women push prams; children look down from balconies, a woman leans out an open window. The streets are busy. Children play dice, stickball, and hopscotch. An ice-cream pushcart arrives. There are cats, dogs, and pigeons. The camera goes to a rooftop for a panorama.Written by
Jay Leyda covers the borough of the Bronx in this historically and visually interesting eleven minute documentary shot before lunch. As historical artifact it captures time, place and character of a section of New York City that was only known for The House That Ruth Built. Leyda's effective unorthodox style offers more than a straight forward portrait of the Bronx as he plays with abstraction and fractured image. Aided immensely by the shadow stretching sun rising over the East River, he creates expressionistic canvases in a documentary setting of city street and storefront. Stylistically, Bronx evokes a Russian influence of Alexander Rodchenko photography and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein montage, complete but a little over done with homage baby carriages. The editing is a little sloppy at times and there is some image repetiveness but Leyda's imaginative eye keeps things interesting most of the way.
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