In honor of Black History Month, here’s a short film that shows a rare glimpse of the black NYC art scene of the 1930s. During a time when most blacks worked tirelessly janitors, construction workers, elevator operators and other blue collar-type work, they took their off time to express themselves creatively through art. This 15 minute silent video shows three black artists, sculptor artist Richmond Barthe, photographer James Latimer Allen, and sculptor Augusta Savage. Although the video is less like a documentary and more like an archival collection of footage, it’s still an intriguing look into an art scene that most people have never seen on film.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, February 19th, 2016||No Comments »|
Well this seems depressingly relevant for a Monday morning. Normally these old PSAs from the ’50s and ’60s are only good for their comedic value. They’re usually super cheesy, out of date, and full of cringeworthy dialogue about how one beer will ruin your entire life or something. But this old 1961 PSA is about a topic that’s still relevant today: boredom. The video goes in-depth into the causes of boredom, the side effect boredom plays on our energy and health, and also how boredom is ingrained in our behavior from birth. The video follows a suburban man named Hugh who works a boring office job and feels unfilled with his life. After being forced to go to a doctor by this wife, he learns the cause of his behavior is boredom. But will he seek psychiatric help or continue letting others (ahem, his wife) influence his life? The tale of “Hugh” and his boring life is weirdly fascinating. So watch it. You might learn something.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, April 13th, 2015||No Comments »|
Andy Warhol is a household name, but for someone who was so mysterious and ahead of his time, it’s almost more intriguing to examine his muse. Edie Sedgwick’s silent screen test for Warhol is one of undeniable beauty, capturing a rare moment of calmness in what was seemingly an ever-changing and concerning life.
This video, in retrospect, carries an eerie quality to it that only manages to hit harder knowing the fate of the beloved woman who fills the center of the frame. However, one thing is as alive and apparent as ever in these 90 short seconds — an icon’s ability to charm the camera, even without speaking a single word.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
These days it might seem like the Internet’s obsession with cats is some kind of new modern phenomenon, but people’s fascination with cats has existed long before media companies started capitalizing off it. Private Life of a Cat, a 1947 silent film directed by husband/wife filmmaking team Alexander Hammid & Maya Deren, is a short documentary about a cat who gives birth to kittens. At 20 minutes long and with no sound, the video might be branded as “experimental,” but there’s hardly anything strange about it. What we have here is the true mystique of cats, presented without comedy or gimmicks, that showcases all the subtle quirks that make them so unique. We also just really like cat videos.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, February 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Acclaimed mobile photographer Sion Fullana has made a living capturing the unique side of New York City. However, he also captures the mundane not-so unique moments, like people walking to work, enjoying a cup of tea, or sleeping on the subway. There’s something about witnessing a quiet subway car full of sleeping commuters dozing off that’s weirdly beautiful to us. And judging by how many photos he has of sleeping subway riders in his portfolio, we’re guessing he thinks the same. While most of his work is about capturing that busy, bustling part of the city, we love it when he takes the time to show the little moments we often ignore–the ones we don’t see because we’re too busy listening to our iPods or, uh, sleeping. If you like this, remember to check out all of Fullana’s work here or on Flickr.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, February 12th, 2015||No Comments »|