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New York on Film

In this course, we will examine the diverse ways that New York City has been presented on film, from the silent era to the 1970s. Our range will be broad, encompassing documentaries, narrative films, silent comedies, experimental films, short films, feature-length movies, and little-known and well-known pictures. Our itinerary may include “city symphonies,” a silent film genre in which filmmakers sought a poetic evocation of city streets and buildings; great silent comedies by Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and others that made use of location filming in New York; “experimental” films by such artists as Joseph Cornell and Rudy Burckhardt; quasi-documentaries such as Little Fugitive (1953) and On the Bowery (1956); feature films in which the city plays a starring role (Marty, The Naked City, Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man); and films that address such present-day concerns of New Yorkers as gentrification (Dead End, The Landlord), among much else. Films will be shown, followed by commentary and discussion.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with important and interesting films that feature New York City
  • Knowledge about different film genres such as city symphonies and experimental films

Ideal for

  • Movie buffs
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.