Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler, Manhatta

T H E  U N S E E N  F E S T I V A L

In 1921, Sheeler and Strand collaborated to make Manhatta, considered to be the first American avant-garde film. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem “Mannahatta,” which is quoted in one of the intertitles, the film portrays life in New York City in sixty-five non-narrative shots. The sequences display one epic day in Lower Manhattan, beginning with a ferry approaching the city in early morning and ending with a sunset view from a skyscraper. Shot from extreme camera angles, the film captures the dynamic qualities of the new metropolis. Watch a trailer.

16mm. B&W. Silent. 1921. 11 min.

This film will screen as part of The Unseen Festival at Counterpath on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.