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This is a History of New York (The Golden Dark Age of Reason)

USA, 1988 (MIFF 1990, Video Programme)

Director: Jem Cohen

A "history" of New York City from Prehistoric Times through the Space Age, illustrated entirely with documentary street footage.

The filmmaker made a wide-ranging study of radically different worlds within the five boroughs. Divided into seven sections, the film/video concentrates on the interraction between street life and architecture. The Prehistoric Period, for example, was filmed largely around abandoned waterfronts of Brooklyn: Tlie Age of Reason captures a Wall Street perched ominously before the '87 crash...

While the filmmaker's intent was to make an accessible street document, on a broader level the film inquires if the so-called Great Ages of Man might not co-exist here and now, before our very eyes.

See also...

Just Hold Still

Essentially a compilation work made up of numerous short pieces, described by Cohen as: Where Documentary Collides. Music Video As Independent Film. Birds As Punctuation ... The project compiles ... More »

Witness Butthole Surfers

In which Cohen bears witness to the dark intensity of the American band Butthole Surfers filmed at a particularly exuberant show. Brooding and unsettling - an anti-music video??? ... More »

Amber City

Cohen's beautifully composed documentary, Amber City, is dedicated to writer Primo Levi. It was shot in countless locations across an unknown city in Italy with a soundtrack by musicians including ... More »

Patti Smith: Long for the City

Patti Smith and her poetry wind their way through the streets of New York City, as she voices her thoughts on her neighbourhood and her life. ... More »

Smells Like Teen Spirit

A domestic portrait of Patti Smith and her son, Jackson. Invoking urban New York and rural America, it's about picking up guitars and doing dirty dishes. ... More »

chain

"Modern civilisation is shown as a bleakly homogenous super landscape in the ambitious [Chain], which links narrative fiction filmmaking to the avant-garde with vision and authority... the cumulative ... More »

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