The celluloid NYC

April 5, 2009 in New York

The NYTimes has a very interesting story on another side of New York.  As they put it, "There’s the tangible New York of concrete and smog, and there’s what the film historian James Sanders has called the 'mythic New York,' the dreamy celluloid landscape of a thousand crisscrossing fictions." The latter is the city with which millions of moviegoers have become familiar over the last century through the use (and overuse) of stock footage.

A towering office building gleams through the clouds. Fireworks crackle over the Hudson River. Dilapidated tenements throw chiseled shadows over a vacant courtyard on the Lower East Side. A wind-tossed calendar dissolves to the exterior of a brownstone. These are the movie equivalent of a comic book narrator saying, “Meanwhile” or “Later that day” at the top of the panel.

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