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Dream city

18 minutes

New York City, 1986 – the grit, the graffiti, the glory

Hurtling down the tracks of a New York City subway train line with the Twin Towers on the horizon, the camera suddenly plunges into the Hudson River. This is the startling opening to Dream City, the little-known experimental documentary that the US filmmaker and photographer Steven Siegel made in 1986. Frenetic camerawork and kinetic editing catapult us from scene to scene across the city as teenagers weigh in on topics ranging from the psychology of graffiti to income inequality and street harassment. The result – an absorbing confluence of time, place and visual style – is a distinctly New York jaunt that brings to mind the words of the poet Dylan Thomas: ‘I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I won’t ever dare ask that question.’

Director: Steven Siegel


Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Metaphysics

Stephanie regrets passing up a great opportunity. Can modal realism help?

5 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Idea/Stories & Literature

This ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory

Lynne Kelly

Essay/Stories & Literature

Readers of the world unite

How markets, Marx, and provincial elites created world literature to fight both empire and nationalism

Martin Puchner

Video/Sports & Games

How Gaelic sports became a cultural binding force in Ireland’s most diverse town

15 minutes

Idea/Travel

We have a new word for that feeling when travel makes everything new

Liam Heneghan

Essay/Cultures & Languages

Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren

Video/Sports & Games

Looking like time travellers from a bygone era, sumo wrestlers gather for a competition

3 minutes