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George Wilkes > Lost New York

NOTES...
Whenever a building on central Manhattan Island was scheduled for demolition, George Wilkes would film its interior and exterior. He was an architecture student who failed to complete his studies because of the illness of his parents. He found work in a bank, where he worked until his retirement in 1978. During these years he made this film record of a vanished city. Viewed together these films present another, almost familiar place - a ghost city, empty, romantic and beautiful. A lost city of railway terminals, hospitals, ferry ports, ballrooms, cinemas, grand houses, restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Each short sequence is a slow, steady pan, 360 degrees around the interior followed by slow panning shots of the exterior. Wilkes usually filmed early in the morning, long before the city hits peak traffic time. All the locations were filmed devoid of human presence, empty and still. This lends each film a dignified yet melancholy beauty.
Tiny Colour Movies sleevenotes - 2006

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