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The Dancing Soul of the Walking People

  • 67 mins
  • Documentary

Shot at Coney Island, New York's legendary amusement park, over two years from 1974-1976, this beautiful landmark of American experimental film languished in semi-obscurity for three decades after its 1980 debut. Restoration was a complex process involving algorithmic computer programming deployed to synchronise sound with images originally recorded (on monochrome Super 8mm film!) at the unusually slow rate of 18 frames per second. The result is cinema as a miraculous time-travel machine, a city-poem which transports us to hidden corners that only a true Coney-Islander would know: a native like writer, director, producer and editor Paula Gladstone. She also arranged the soundtrack, featuring music that ranges from Duke Ellington to the Drifters ("under the board-walk, down by sea...") and, most stirringly, LaBelle.

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