SD restored 2001

by Charles SHEELER & Paul STRAND
1920-1921 / 35mm / b&w / mute / 1S / 11' 04

Music by Donald Sosin (2001 synthie score)

Restored 2001 from sole surviving 35mm positive print held at BFI that was screened at the London Film Society in 1926.

“Strand and Sheeler’s only film collaboration was the first consciously produced avant-garde U.S. film and a model for subsequent ‘city films,’ though it was released as a New York ‘scenic’ of lower Manhattan. A modernist work, the film demonstrates a romantic subtext in its Whitmanesque inter-titles and narrative construction.” —Jan-Christopher Horak

“In 1920, photographer Paul Strand and painter-photographer Charles Sheeler, who had acquired a French 35mm Debrie movie camera, collaborated on a short non-commercial art film, now titled ‘Manhatta.’ They began to shoot in lower Manhattan working without scenario or script. Many of the scenes were made from the upper floors of skyscrapers in order to emphasize the geometric character of the city's architecture and to suggest the ant-like character of its population. In their press release, Strand wrote that they had tried to ‘register directly the living forms in front of them and reduce [them] through rigid selection…to their most intensest [sic] terms of expressiveness…’ to capture the ‘elusive spirit’ of New York, without resorting to ‘artifice or photographic trickery.’” —Naomi Rosenblum

New music 2001 synthie score composed and performed by Donald Sosin

Courtesy :
British Film Institute National Film, Television, and Video Archive
Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1893-1941


distribution format Digital file on server (HD)
version restored version
duration 11' 45
notes Music by Donald Sosin

Restored 2001 from sole surviving 35mm positive print held at BFI
screen 4/3 (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
rental fee 70,00 €