(9 min, HDCam, 1:2.67 letterbox, b&w, 2005)
A film by Bill Morrison
Original music by Todd Reynolds
Commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Source material: “Across the Brooklyn Bridge”
(American Mutoscope and Biograph, 1899)
Used by arrangement with the British Film Institute
Post production by Cineric
In 1899 a cameraman for American Mutoscope & Biograph mounted his camera to the front of a trolley traveling over the Brooklyn Bridge. Three 90-foot rolls were edited to together to complete the journey from Manhattan to Brooklyn, entitled “Across the Brooklyn Bridge”. As the film was shot on the short-lived 68mm gauge, it had not been viewed by modern audiences until the British Film Institute restored the original to 35mm in 2004.
As a commission by the Museum of Modern Art for the re-opening of the Museum in 2005, Morrison took this remarkable footage and recombined it with itself to form the split-screen extrapolation, “Outerborough”.
Violinist and composer Todd Reynolds created the soundtrack in response to Morrison’s edit.
As one of the earliest travelogues, “Across the Brooklyn Bridge” was filmed with the intention of giving early film audiences the opportunity to experience a place they could not otherwise visit. For modern audiences it is similarly rarefied view we can no longer experience. Not only has the cityscape changed over the past century, but also, no train crosses the bridge anymore, and no vehicle can travel over on its median as that trolley did. The unique central perspective lends itself to abstraction and time travel: the journey from one side of the East River to the other becoming a unit of both time and space, increasingly compressible and distributable.
Museum of Modern Art, 2005 (world premiere)
Tribeca Film Festival 2005
Melbourne International Film Festival 2005
© 2005 Hypnotic Pictures