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New York, 1911

This documentary, part of MoMA's extraordinary collection, was made by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern as part of a series dedicated to showing famous places around the world. The original version was silent I wanted to preserve the spirit without the later post sound effects added in other versions. Allowing to see the film in the quiet of the night, by myself, without the suggestive sounds of cars passing, horses going by, and crowds help me to look for details on the screen hoping to find points of reference.

Documentary footage such as this is extremely valuable to present-day documentarians when trying to contextualize a story otherwise constrain to the talking head, current-day footage of the location, or vintage photographs.

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MOMA is a treasure trove of marvellous films, and this one is no exception. Thank you for sharing these images of yesteryear’s NYC!

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