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New-York (1911)

Old film of New York City in the year 1911. This film was taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to the United States. It was released two years later.
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Old film of New York City in the year 1911. This film was taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to the United States. It was released two years later.

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Documentary | Short

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There exists a colorized and visually enhanced version in 4k quality of this movie. See more »

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City Sinfonietta
4 October 2020 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

Well, now, I really would like to do some traveling. Seeing this as the second short film in the travelogue program, "The Urge to Travel," from the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, after the animated "Un Voyage Abracadabrant" (1919), is quite the virtual trip: virtual tourism to another place not only in space, that is New York, as filmed by Swedish filmmakers, but more than a century after the film was made, in time, too; plus, I'm not actually seeing the film in Italy, as the festival is being streamed online this year for obvious reasons (there was a pandemic, future readers).

Of all the travelogues in the program, this one was most similar to later city symphonies, too, uninterrupted by title cards or obtrusive narration, as the camera moves from the harbor, including an iris view of, naturally, the Statue of Liberty (the same shot will also appear at the end, to frame the quasi-narrative), from a phantom ride on a boat, to street views and phantom rides of trollies. We see trains and bridges, trollies and cars, along with horse carriages and a lot more hats than nowadays. The cityscape of skyscrapers is first only seen in the foggy distance of the background of shots until the climactic aerial views of the buildings. Of course, nothing particularly and modernly artistic is made of the footage to topple claims of films such as "Manhatta" (1921), of the same city, being the first city symphonies, but it's still a pleasant travelogue. And, now, to leave the New World for the Old one in the next film on Pordenone's schedule, from Krakow.

(Note: 35mm nitrate positive from MoMA.)


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Official Sites:

Festival | Official site | See more »

Country:

Sweden

Language:

None

Release Date:

1911 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

A Trip Through New York City See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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