There are few cities in America whose rhythm, pulse of life and character can stand on their own, and eschew any kind of traditional narrative. And in the late ’70s and early ’80s, New York City was certainly that place. With the city undergoing tremendous social, cultural and musical changes, filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer went out with his camera to the streets and in 1981 dropped the 45-minute, 16mm shot “Stations Of The Elevated.” A unique portrait of NYC, the movie has grown in cult status but never quite got the release or treatment it deserved in the years since. Until now.
Newly restored, “Stations Of The Elevated” is returning to the big screen to give today’s audiences a taste of a more reckless and boldly creative time in New York City. Boasting a soundtrack by jazz legend Charles Mingus and Aretha Franklin, the cinematic tone poem explores the rich graffiti culture of the city, highlighting the work of Lee, The Fabulous 5, Shadow, Daze, Kase, Butch, Blade, Slave, 12 T2B, Ree, and Pusher, all while placing it in the social and economic context of the time.
For those who enjoy looking back at the city that was, “Stations Of The Elevated” will be worth tracking down. The restored print will have its premiere at BAMCinemaFest on Friday, June 27th. Trailer and poster below.