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Echoes of Silence + Pestilent City (15*)

Bebop New York

Echoes of Silence + Pestilent City

Shot between 1962-5 on black-and-white 16mm film, these two rare micro-budget indies offer haunting images of Beat-era New York.

These two films, a short and a feature, illustrate precisely the kind of cinema critic Jonas Mekas had imagined in 1959 with his call for films that were “less perfect but more free”. Set in the streets, bars, and cheap flats of Greenwich Village and Times Square, they are shot with the resources of a guerrilla documentary filmmaker, but with the eye of a poet.

Echoes of Silence, the longer film, describes the lives of three twenty-somethings – Miguel, Stasia and Viraj – adrift in the big city, looking for connection. Structured as a series of 15 loosely-related vignettes, each introduced by a hand-written title card, Echoes is dialogue-free, but never silent – its shadowy images are paired with a dynamic soundtrack drawn from the filmmaker’s own LP collection.

US 1964 Dir Peter Emmanuel Goldman 74 min Digital presentation
US 1965 Dir Peter Emmanuel Goldman 16 min Digital presentation

The Bebop New York film season accompanies the major exhibition Lee Krasner: Living Colour in the Art Gallery from 30 May – 1 Sep 2019.

* = locally classified by the City of London Corporation

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

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