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In the Street - Helen Levitt


Rental Format(s): Digital File

Alternate title: I Hate 1010th Street
Co-makers: Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, and James Agee
Shot 1945-46, 1948 early edit, later final version 1952
Original format: 16mm silent film 1.37:1 16fps
Music written and performed by Arthur Kleiner
Courtesy: Cecile Starr, Bruce Posner, Film Preservation Associates

"The street film was sort of pure. It was like photography, only with motion. And it was abstract." -Janice Loeb

While the film vividly depicts Manhattan street life in the mid 1940s Spanish Harlem, the real subject becomes the inner expression seen on the children's faces. Each inhabits a private dream world lost in reverie. In contrast, the close-ups shot by James Agee, engage children making funny faces. Two cameras were employed by Levitt and Loeb to shoot in tandem while circling their subjects. Later they would cut from camera to camera for added authenticity. Helen Levitt was known to have altered the editing whenever she had the opportunity and at one time titled the film, I Hate 110th Street. This unique version differs from others with additional material and a slightly different edit of shot sequences where some shots are placed in a reverse order. -Bruce Posner

Helen Levitt (1913-2009) was a major figure in the street photography movement of the postwar years in New York City. Her filmic career has been less well explored. Nevertheless, any discussion of Levitt's [filmmaking]...provides a glimpse into the vibrant New York City film culture of the mid-20th century and a career that included independent, sponsored and institutionally backed film projects made outside of the Hollywood system. -Deane Williams

Janice Loeb Levitt (1913-2005), described as a shy, petite redhead with a fierce intelligence, an eccentric flair and a dislike of pretension, worked with novelist James Agee and her sister-in-law, acclaimed photographer Helen Levitt, on The Quiet One, an Oscar-nominated 1949 documentary. The trio also collaborated on In the Street in 1945-46. -Brandon Griggs

James Agee (1909-1955) was the author of film reviews for The Nation and Time, novels including A Death in the Family (1957) (posthumous Pulitzer Prize), screenplays including The African Queen (1951) and The Night of the Hunter (1955), and a book collaboration with photographer Walker Evans for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). In the Street was his sole work as a filmmaker, shooting his own footage with an amateur camera. -Bruce Posner

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Digital File $70.00  

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