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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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