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Perspectives Public Space

In the Street, 1948—A Film by Helen Levitt, ft. New Musical Score by Ben Model

Jul 2, 2020 21 MINUTES

Filmed in East Harlem just after the end of World War II, In the Street is a dynamic, tender, and often humorous portrait of life in New York City: children dance and play in alleyways, shopkeepers sweep the sidewalks, onlookers watch from their windows. This captivating film presents the bustling theater of city life, where “every human is a poet, a masker, a warrior, a dancer.” Directed by the renowned photographer Helen Levitt, in collaboration with Janice Loeb and James Agee, and featuring a new musical score written and performed by Ben Model.

Fun fact: This short film was a favorite of Charlie Chaplin’s, who was so delighted by one of the dancing boys that he allegedly jumped up during the viewing and mimicked the toddler’s moves.

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