Detroit Film Theatre


DFT 101: ON THE BOWERY

Saturday, October 01, 2011

4:00 PM

(USA/1956-directed by Lionel Rogosin)

Among the most important films from the post-war American independent scene is Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery – an incredibly powerful non-fiction film that took the Venice Film Festival Grand Prize for Documentary, and in 2008 was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. On the Bowery chronicles three days on New York's skid row, which, in the early part of the 19th century, was an elegant place of large mansions. When the elevated trains came in, however, the street was enveloped in darkness and the Bowery became the place for flophouses and cheap drinks. Rogosin's film, made "from the inside," showed his subjects in their normal surroundings and allowed them to speak in their own words. By choosing ordinary people caught up in universal problems, Rogosin made his point poignantly and claimed a place in film history. The Oscar-nominated On the Bowery is a pioneering work of the blend of documentary/fiction, and an essential American masterpiece. Plus: The Perfect Team (2010), a portrait of the making of On the Bowery. (100 min. total)

"A milestone in American cinema. Simple, honest and compassionate – a rare achievement." –Martin Scorsese

"This landmark documentary disturbs and compels as much today in a new 35mm restoration as it did when it opened." –Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"★★★★★! Lionel Rogosin's devastating survey of the legendary 'hood' returns for a welcome encore." –David Fear, Time Out New York

"In a very real sense the ultimate New York movie." –Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 p.m.