N.Y., N.Y.

 

 

 

Filmmaker Francis Thompson spent more than ten years developing special lenses and other unique techniques to photograph these magical 14 minutes of film, released in 1957 and recently restored by Anthology Film Archives and Bruce Posner from Thompson's camera original 16mm Kodachrome.  Aldous Huxley wrote of it in his essay "Heaven and Hell":

"In this very strange and beautiful picture we see the city of New York as it appears when photographed through multiplying prisms, or reflected in the backs of spoons, polished hub caps, spherical and parabolic mirrors. We still recognize houses, people, shop fronts, taxicabs, but recognize them as elements in one of those living geometries which are so characteristic of the visionary experience...  Used as Mr. Thompson has used it, colored cinematography does much more than merely record and preserve the raw materials of non-representational art; it actually turns out the finished product. Looking at NY, NY, I was amazed to see that virtually every pictorial device invented by the old masters of non-representational art and reproduced ad nauseam by the academicians and mannerists of the school, for the last forty years or more, makes its appearance, alive, glowing, intensely significant, in the sequences of Mr. Thompsonís film.

 

(David Shepard)