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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...


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USA, 2004
"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 »

Smells Like Teen Spirit

USA, 2007
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 »

Witness Butthole Surfers

USA, 1987
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 »

Just Hold Still

USA, 1989
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 shor… More »

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