Eerily current: NYC 1911

I’m oddly intrigued by the immediacy of this 107-year-old archival footage showing New York City. As Khoi Vinh explains,

The footage has been altered in two subtle but powerful ways: the normally heightened playback speed of film from this era has been slowed down to a more “natural” pace; and the addition of a soundtrack of ambient city sounds, subtly timed with the action on screen.



4 thoughts on “Eerily current: NYC 1911

  1. Such beautiful straight recording, the desire to record the commonplace without flavour is a wonderful thing.

    The world is packed with new photographers and videographers who are ideally placed to make a record of their surroundings. I did this in my home town and school from the early 1970s onwards, at the time I was ridiculed for wasting film on “nothing”, now the images evoke the past and point to what has changed.

    Documentary work is a long game to play but infinitely more valuable I would suggest than yet another shot of blurred water around a stone or any other target image amateurs feel they need to replicate these days.

  2. The difference between this clip and what I’m used to in period film has me almost in disbelief. I wouldn’t be able to describe the change in feel. Contemporary films recreating the era have, even though accurate, always seemed artificial because the movement is natural and smooth. I want more.

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