In 1895, 165 artists lofts and spaces were completed above Carnegie Hall in New York City. Over the decades, Mark Twain and Paddy Chayefsky wrote there, Enrico Caruso recorded there, Isadora Duncan danced there, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe rehearsed there--the list of icons and legends who benefitted from the space is simply amazing. Josef "Birdman" Astor's documentary began as a loving chronicle of the place, its history and the artists still living there. Then the Carnegie Hall Corp. decided to redevelop...

A former Carnegie Studios tenant himself, director Astor has created a fascinating and combative work, featuring, among others, New York Times fashion photographer and fellow tenant Bill Cunningham (himself the subject of the very popular Bill Cunningham New York) as well as Cunningham's neighbours, including various artists such as a 96-year-old photographer Editta Sherman who has lived in the studios for many decades. Astor decided to document the tenants' fight to stay in their long-term homes. But global trends suggests that where money and real estate are concerned, decades and sometimes centuries of history and culture can disappear in the blink of an eye should they stand in the way of the almighty buck.

4 min 1 sec


Posted On
October 24, 2011
Josef Astor

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September 29, 2011
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