Stations of the Elevated (1/19)

“A 45-minute proto-hip-hop bliss-out, a masterpiece of train- and tag-spotting.” — The Village Voice

“When a train is whizzing by you in a station, graffiti is literally in your face! But when you get a chance to see it at a distance, especially on elevated trains — my God! You realize what incredible works of art these things are.”Stations of the Elevated filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer

The earliest filmed document of graffiti, Manfred Kirchheimer’s richly chromatic 16mm city symphony sets images of northern Manhattan to a soundtrack that interweaves ambient city noises with the gutbucket gospel squall of jazz titan Charles Mingus. Long regarded by cinephiles and hip-hop heads as an obscure cult masterpiece since its premiere at the 1981 New York Film Festival, the film is a celebration of a quintessentially urban art form — at a time when it was largely dismissed as vandalism. (BAMcinématek) New restoration! Stations is followed by Kirchheimer’s short film Claw, a poetic, deeply critical examination of urban renewal.
Stations of the Elevated Dir. Manfred Kirchheimer, 1981, DCP, 46 min.
Claw: A Fable Dir. Manfred Kirchheimer, 1968, DCP, 30 min.

Watch the trailer for “Stations of the Elevated”!
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