Rick Prelinger Presents the First 'Lost Landscapes of New York' Program
Since 2006, film historian and archivist Rick Prelinger has presented twenty participatory urban-history events to enthusiastic audiences in San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Oakland, and at festivals throughout the world. For the first time, he is bringing his LostLandscapes project to New York City.
Museum of the Moving Image will present the 90-minute program Lost Landscapes of New York at the Skirball Center in Manhattan, on Sunday, November 12, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. The program, which is filled with rare and stunning views of the city, from 35mm, 16mm, and 8mm film, mixes home movies by New Yorkers, tourists, and semi-professional cinematographers with outtakes from feature films and background "process plates" picturing granular details of New York's cityscape. The combination of intimate moments, memories from many New York neighborhoods, and a variety of rare cinematic perspectives forms a 21st-century city symphony whose soundtrack will be provided by the audience. Viewers will be invited to comment, to ask questions and to interact with one another as the screening unfolds.
"Rick Prelinger is one of the world's foremost film archivists and historians," said the Museum's Chief Curator David Schwartz. "His Lost Landscapes programs have become legendary, and we are very pleased to bring them to New York for what we hope becomes a regular tradition."
Lost Landscapes of New York will span much of the twentieth century, covering daily life, work, celebration, social change, and the city's changing streetscapes. Almost all of the footage in the film has never been shown publicly. Highlights include: the streets and people of the Lower East Side, Harlem, Williamsburg, and Queens; a 1930s train ride from the Bronx to Grand Central; a visit to pre-demolition Penn Station and the Lincoln Center area pre-redevelopment; street photographers in Times Square; 1931 Times Square scenes in color; Spanish Harlem in the 1960s; housing shortages and civil rights protests in 1940s Harlem; Manhattan's exuberant neon signage; elevated trains in the 1920s and 1930s; garment strikes in the 1930s; Depression-era "Hoovervilles"; crowds at Coney Island in the 1920s; Italian Americans in Brooklyn in the 1930s; 1960s Puerto Rican community activism; and a visit to both 1939-40 and 1964-65 Worlds' Fairs.
This event is presented in cooperation with NYU Cinema Studies and its Orphan Film Symposium. Tickets are $20 ($15 for Museum members), and may be ordered at nyu.skirball.org.