Created in 1921, Manhatta is a short documentary film directed by painter Charles Sheeler and photographer Paul Strand, which uses the words of Walt Whitman to paint a vivid portrait of New York City.
Manhatta documents the look of early-20th-century Manhattan. With the city as subject, the film consists of 65 shots sequenced in a loose non-narrative structure, beginning with a ferry approaching Manhattan and ending with a sunset view from a skyscraper. The primary objective of the film is to explore the relationship between photography and film; camera movement is kept to a minimum, as is incidental motion within each shot. Each frame provides a view of the city that has been carefully arranged into abstract compositions.
Manhatta was a collaboration between painter Charles Sheeler and photographer Paul Strand. The intertitles include excerpts from the writings of Walt Whitman.
The title comes from Walt Whitman's poem "Mannahatta," which is quoted in one of the intertitles:
High growths of iron, slender, strong, splendidly uprising toward clear skies.
The film is laced with other bits of Whitman's poetry, including portions of "A Song of Occupations," "A Broadway Pageant," and "City of Ships":
City of the world (for all races are here) City of tall facades of marble and iron, Proud and passionate city.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com