The Lonely Ghosts of New York City’s Past

The Lonely Ghosts of New York City’s Past

Photography by: Jem Cohen, NYC

The ghostly Polaroids that filmmaker Jem Cohen has taken of New York City over the past 30 years remind him of “a sleepwalker’s view of the city.” The impressionistic images, filled with vaporous landscapes, acid colors, deadpan close-ups and long, lonesome vistas, could be said to capture those parts of the city its residents have forgotten, or even what the city has forgotten about itself.

The same can be observed about Cohen’s short films, NYC Weights and Measures (2006) and Lost Book Found (1996), which capture the lonely solitude that exists beneath the often deafening noise and frantic bustle of the city’s streets.

Read more about Jem Cohen’s work in The New York Times here.

Jem Cohen: Lost Book Found (1996)

Jem Cohen: NYC Weights and Measures (2006)

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Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock photographer Autumn de Wilde and The Decemberists have teamed up with The Impossible Project to create a deluxe box edition for the band’s new album, The King Is Dead. Autumn de Wilde was joking when she first offered to take a couple thousand Polaroid shots of her friends in the folk-rock band the Decemberists. But they called her bluff, and a few months later she’d accumulated more than 2,500 single- and double-exposed photos of the five band members, which were taken during recording sessions for the new album and around their hometown haunts in Portland, Oregon. All of the pictures were taken on Polaroid Type 100 peel-apart film provided by The Impossible Project, a group of former Polaroid employees who banded together in 2008 to rescue the beloved instant cameras from total obsolescence.

Here’s a video-montage of de Wilde’s Polaroid photographs, accompanying the band’s new song from their album, Down by the Water. Then take a look through the slide show presenting more of de Wilde’s unique and dramatic Polaroids.

The Decemberists: Down by the Water

Slide Show: The Decemberists in Polaroid

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Polaroid Love: Love Lost and Redeemed Through the Lens of a Polaroid Camera

Polaroid Love: Love Lost and Redeemed Through the Lens of a Polaroid Camera

Well I stumbled in the darkness
I’m lost and alone
Though I said I’d go before us
And show the way back home
There a light up ahead
I can’t hold onto her arm
Forgive me pretty baby
But I always take the long way home

Tom Waits

Polaroid Love (2008) is a half-hour long short film from Russia that already has won three awards at the 2008 28th Annual International Moscow Film School (VGIK) Film Festival. The short film won awards for the Best Actor, Best Editing and Best Production. Polaroid Love is a quiet, very introspective drama expressed in a quite unusual way; the film’s story can evoke from viewers a multitude of personal ideas and nostalgic thoughts.

Polaroid Love is a narrative about an unusual romance: It tells a bittersweet story about how a consuming passion for a Polaroid camera played the central role in being in love, losing that love and (I think) the love being unexpectedly regained. More generally, Polaroid Love might suggest that the world seems to be more beautiful when viewed while listening to your favorite music, or seen through the eyes of the one you love, or maybe even captured through the lens of a Polaroid camera.

Polaroid Love: Love Lost and Redeemed Through the Lens of a Polaroid Camera

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