Sunday, June 12, 2016

New York: A Documentary Film

From its start as a Dutch trading post through the immigrant experience up until present day, covering formative politicians including Boss Tweed, Al Smith, and Fiorello Laguardia, and other visionaries that shaped its mindset and the physicality such as Walt Whitman, Frederick Law Olmstead, and Robert Moses, New York: A Documentary Film is a lengthy, comprehensive, informative history of the incomparable metropolis by Ric Burns, told with the same rigor and craft associated with the works of his brother Ken. There are many passages of note and a great use of footage though I somehow wished the film had time to slow down to focus on smaller stories instead of on the hustle and bustle and constant progress and forces shaping the city. The documentary is also hurt by chest thumping New Yorkers, historians and celebrities alike, constantly harping on the vast greatness of the city while adding little to the experience. Lastly, following the 9/11 attacks, a final episode was tacked on detailing the monotonous history of the World Trade Center buildings, which was mostly overlook during the first run.
*** out of ****