Monday, December 17, 2007

So what are the great film renditions of Empty Manhattan? I can think of the following:

The World, the Flesh and the Devil. Anti-racism inversion of a deeply bigoted Victorian novel starring Harry Belafonte. Pretty damned good, and the Manhattan offered is stark, and modernist, and sleek, and utterly inhuman. The machine grinding on after its care-takers have left, still well-greased, oiled, and precise in the absence of any purpose.

The Devil's Advocate. It's a late-period New York-as-Babylon apocalypse, Gordon -Gecko-taken-to-the-fantastic-extreme film. A horror movie that uses surreality to emphasize alienation and grotesqueries, the empty-streets-of-Manhattan scenes are used to establish the end of the Masquerade, and the beginning of the End-of-Days. So, this movie's empty-streets-of-Gotham are intended to evoke anxiety - ye olde fear-and-trembling.

I'm having trouble thinking of other dead-Manhattan or empty-Manhattan movies. Anyone have anything to add?

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