Updates, Live

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Robert J. Flaherty: Twenty-Four-Dollar Island (1927)

Dutch traders bought the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans for some trinkets supposedly worth twenty four dollars. And the city grew to thirty dwellings, then to thousand residents, and this went on. By the time Flaherty shot his documentary there were eight million people.

The Manhattan of Flaherty is ugly, ghastly, inhuman, and fascinating. But that's the way Manhattan is. The first words I heard in this city were I hate New York, I love New York. You come to this twenty-four-dollar island full of dreams, attracted by its trinkets of all sizes and all shapes, and you become its slave. There is no escape.

This was the first documentary of Flaherty that I saw, part of a splendid collection of short movies about NY, Unseen Cinema - Picturing a Metropolis.


(New York, New York)



Post a Comment

<< Home