The DVD depicts dynamic images of New York City and scenes of New Yorkers among the skyscrapers, streets, and night life of America's greatest city during a half century of progress, while at the same time showing changes in film style and the history of cinema experiments. Avant-garde moments pop up in the most unlikely of places including turn-of-the-twentieth-century actualities, commercial and radical newsreels, and Busby Berkeley's "Lullaby of Broadway" from Gold Diggers of 1935. Included are spectacular prints of Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand's Manhatta (1921), Robert Flaherty's Twenty-four-Dollar Island (c. 1926), Robert Florey's Skyscraper Symphony (1929), Jay Leyda's A Bronx Morning (1931), and Rudy Burckhardt's Pursuit of Happiness (1940).
The Blizzard (1899)—creators unknown
Lower Broadway (1902)—Robert K. Bonine
Beginning of a Skyscraper (1902)—Robert K. Bonine
Panorama from Times Building, New York (1905)—Wallace McCutcheon
Skyscrapers of NYC from North River (1903)—J.B. Smith
Panorama from Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1903)—G.W. "Billy" Bitzer
Building Up and Demolishing the Star Theatre (1902)—Frederick Armitage
Coney Island at Night (1905)—Edwin S. Porter
Interior New York Subway 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905)—G.W. "Billy" Bitzer
Seeing New York by Yacht (1902)—Frederick Armitage & A.E. Weed
2 Looney Lens: Split Skyscrapers (1924) and Tenth Avenue, NYC (1924)—Al Brick
4 Scenes from Ford Educational Weekly (1916-24)—creators unknown
Manhatta (1921)—Charles Sheeler & Paul Strand
Twentyfour-Dollar Island (c. 1926)—Robert Flaherty
Skyscraper Symphony (1929)—Robert Florey
Manhattan Medley (1931)—Bonney Powell
A Bronx Morning (1931)—Jay Leyda
Footnote to Fact (1933)—Lewis Jacobs
Seeing the World (1937)—Rudy Burckhardt
Pursuit of Hapiness (1940)—Rudy Burckhardt
Gold Diggers of 1935 — "Lullaby of Broadway" (1935)—Busby Berkeley (excerpt)
"Every New Yorker should see it."
–New Yorker on Manhatta
UNSEEN CINEMA: PICTURING A METROPOLIS is one of a seven-DVD series exploring American avant-garde cinema from 1894-1941. Presented by Anthology Film Archives in association with the British Film Institute, Cineric, Film Preservation Associates, Deutsches Filmmuseum, George Eastman House, The Library of Congress and The Museum of Modern Art.
"In terms of genre, the Unseen Cinema cover a lot more ground than a typical film series, but that decision to cast a wide net is true to the early avant-garde, who were willing to include nearly anything in their definition of cinema."
–The Austin Chronicle
"Busby Berkeley’s 'Lullaby of Broadway' sequence combines city-symphony footage, elaborate choreography, and dream imagery in a showcase of Hollywood-style surrealism."
–City Papers, Washington D.C.
Runtime: 152 minutes
Language: Sound & Silent - English