blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

N.Y., N.Y. (1957, Francis Thompson)

A shot from N.Y., N.Y., directed by Francis Thompson.

N.Y., N.Y. is, ostensibly, a day in the city. It opens in the early morning, features a man waking for work, movies through a series of daytime shots, finally finishing with shots of night in the city and nighttime activities. However, Thompson has no narrative. He uses special kaleidoscope lenses to shoot the city and its activities, creating fragmented images where one part ends where it starts again. Occasionally shots are very clear—the alarm clock, for example, splits when it goes off after an establishing shot.

Thompson is rarely surreal. For the most part, N.Y., N.Y. is spent marveling at the images he creates. The surrealism only comes in for a few shots, when he can’t resist how cartoon-like his imagery has become.

Gene Forrell’s jazzy, enthusiastic score informs those moments.

It’s startlingly and beautiful; it’s a perfect example of what high definition should be used to showcase.

3/3Highly Recommended


Directed and photographed by Francis Thompson; music by Gene Forrell; released by Anagram International.


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