Stations of the elevated

United States, 1980

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Beginning in the switching yards as they set out on their daily route, Kirchheimer has photographed New Yorks trains as works of art and canvases for the city’s graffiti. As they travel through the decaying urban landscape, they are juxtaposed with advertisements which the filmmaker calls ‘sanctioned vandalism’. Eloquently combines glimpses of faces, billboards and 20th Century artefacts with an urban jazz soundtrack, by Charles Mingus, to create a political film exploring the possibilities of cinema and the visual texture of urban life.

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