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N.Y., N.Y.

Posted by martinteller on July 6, 2012

Francis Thompson’s 1957 short film takes the concept of the “city symphony” films of the 20’s and 30’s and abstracts them even further.  We see the usual snapshots of city life — traffic, skyscrapers, masses of people going to work, some glimpses of the nightlife — with the accompaniment of a jazzy score that sometimes makes a musical comment on the action.  But Thompson filters it all through kaleidoscopic camera effects, transforming the city into a mosaic of surreal images.  Does he see New York City as an alien landscape, too vast and bizarre to comprehend?  Or is he just having fun with neato effects?  I don’t know, but some of the shapes he twists things into are surprising and delightful.  It’s enjoyable to watch… for a while, anyway.   15 minutes is just about right for this.  Maybe even a little too much.  Rating: Very Good


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