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PICTURING A METROPOLIS is part of the film retrospective UNSEEN CINEMA that explores long-forgotten American experimental cinema.

Since the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have been infatuated with capturing on film dynamic images of New York City. Avant-garde experiments pop up in the most unlikely of places including turn of the 20th century actualities, and commercial and radical newsreels. City symphonies are represented by the landmark American films, Sheeler and Strand's Manhatta (1921), Flaherty's 24-Dollar Island (c,1926), Florey's Skyscraper Symphony (1929), and Leyda's A Bronx Morning (1931). Overall 25 short films lovingly depict scenes of New Yorkers in situ against the skyscrapers, streets, and night life of Manhattan during a half century of progress.

25 FILMS BY FEATURED DIRECTORS: Frederick Armitage, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, Robert K. Bonine, Al Brick, Rudy Burckhardt, Robert Flaherty, Robert Florey, Lewis Jacobs, Looney Lens, Jay Leyda, Wallace McCutcheon, Edwin S. Porter, Bonney Powell, Charles Sheeler, J.B. Smith, Paul Strand, A.E. Weed, Herman Weinberg.

Curated by Bruce Posner and produced by David Shepard

"Manhattan itself becomes a living being, the embodiment of modern American energy. A New York museum should put this great early film, perhaps the most dramatic portrayal of the city in existence, on permanent display. Every New Yorker should see it." - New York Magazine

"The clarity and depth of the films will be a revelation... Picturing a Metropolis is cause for celebration." - Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

Made possible in part by Cineric, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, Film Preservation Associates


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