Wednesday, July 2, 2008

El cardplayers

The above image comes from 3rd Ave. El (1954), an Oscar-nominated short film by Carson Davidson. Its elements are delightful: the El, a few riders, a shiny dime, Franz Joseph Haydn's Concerto in D for Harpsichord, and "the city."

The film's credits list six actors, in what appears to be order of appearance (a photographer, a drunk, and father and child, a couple out on the town). These cardplayers though are evidently genuine commuters, caught perhaps on their way to work.

I found 3rd Ave. El as an extra on the DVD release of The Shvitz (1993, dir. Jonathan Berman), a documentary about old-school steambaths. (Shvitz is Yiddish for "sweat.") But you can also watch 3rd Ave. El online, via the Internet Archive.

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