The Lower East Side and Coney Island: Lost and Found

Introduced by Ken Jacobs and Paula Gladstone

Sunday, October 21, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

Orchard Street
1955. USA. Directed by Ken Jacobs. In 1955, fresh out of the Coast Guard, Ken Jacobs bought a 16mm Bell & Howell and began documenting his immediate environment, a Lower East Side shopping street that reminded him of his childhood in Depression-era Williamsburg. He purposefully avoided romanticism and satire: “I wanted to get Orchard Street, without commenting on it.” Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation. 12 min.

The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves
1934-59. USA. “View and experience Seward Park as the portrait of the neighborhood changes from crisp black and white to vivid color, as streets once filled with pushcarts become lined with sharp-finned cars, and as children sled on snowy sidewalks before sitting down for ‘story time’ in a green park. The earliest footage, from 1934–5 and 1941, was captured and edited by Grace Hardie, a former Seward Park Branch staff member. In 1959, Bill Sloan, head of the Donnell Library Center’s Film Library, and his wife Gwen shot the color section using a 16mm Bolex. At this time, Donald W. Fowle, a clerk at the Seward Park Branch, created the script as part of the branch’s fiftieth anniversary celebration. His narration has been read aloud at screenings of the film ever since. Mr. Fowle and the Sloans were assisted by Jean E. McIntosh, assistant branch librarian at Seward Park. A detailed account of the action – a shot list – was prepared by Tara D. Kelley of the Reserve Film and Video Collection in 2012” (New York Public Library). Preserved by the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 36 min.

The Dancing Soul of the Walking People
1980. USA. Written and directed by Paula Gladstone. Gladstone, a true Coney Islander, wrote, directed, produced and edited this film, and arranged the soundtrack using music by Duke Ellington and the Drifters with a voiceover of her own poetry. Shot over two years, the film is an abstract meditation on life under the boardwalk and a poetic document of a vanished world that emulates "city symphonies" of the 1920s such as Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with partial funding from the Women’s Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film and Television, the New York City Council and Eastman Kodak. 67 min.

Program 115 min.

In the Film exhibition To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation

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