Directed by Manfred Kirchheimer • Documentary • 1981 • 46 minutes
Stations of the Elevated (1981) is a 45-minute city symphony directed, produced and edited by Manfred Kirchheimer. Shot on lush 16mm color reversal stock, the film weaves together vivid images of graffiti- covered elevated subway trains crisscrossing the gritty urban landscape of 1970s New York, to a commentary-free soundtrack that combines ambient city noise with jazz and gospel by Charles Mingus and Aretha Franklin. Gliding through the South Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan – making a rural detour past a correctional facility upstate –Stations of the Elevated is an impressionistic portrait of and tribute to a New York that has long since disappeared.
“The accidental magic of reflections and shadows meshes with the pure forms of architecture and the overlooked artistry of advertisements to conjure a feeling of unrelenting sensory adventure.” —Richard Brody, The New Yorker