The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 22-28

04/22/2015 9:09 AM |


Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991)
Directed by Ernie Gehr
Though a structuralist experiment in the vein of Gehr’s previous films (Serene Velocity, Table), Side/Walk/Shuttle uses guerrilla filmmaking to capture a miniature city symphony. Each of its 24 shots gives a different perspective through the outdoor elevator in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, accompanied by audio tracks from different cities. Gehr shot the film without permission, often being asked to leave despite his attempts at hiding his 16mm camera. The surviving footage melds together to orient, reorient, and disorient the city of Hitchcock into its base lines, angles, colors, shapes, and movements. Gehr’s 41-minute film acts as a masterful yet puzzling tour guide to one of cinema’s most mysterious cities. At BAM’s “The Vertigo Effect” series, it’s paired with Chris Marker’s early sci-fi work La Jetée, a 28-minute effort constructed by similarly experimental means: a series of photos give a stunning dystopian context to what is effectively a radioplay. A brief shot of the leading couple looking at a tree trunk also gives a nod to Hitchcock the film wraps its time-hopping slideshow—passing by war, love, and death as only Marker’s poetic sense could. Zach Lewis (Apr 22, 7:15pm at BAM’s “The Vertigo Effect”)