Similar to how many other films based out of the Big Apple begin, NEW YORK RHAPSODY pans over New York City from an aerial view—The Statue of Liberty, the various burroughs, the numerous parks— all of it in black and white. Absent of color, as well as absent of sound other than brass-heavy instrumental, this film relies heavily on the word-less emotions of both characters and the city itself.
The term artist has a broad definition. In this film, it refers to everyone pursuing what they have a passion for—the photographers, videographers, chefs, buskers, audio editors, musicians, ballet dancers, etc. The list could go on—all are contained to New York, giving a new take to the saying Meanwhile, across town.
But artists living in the big city come as no surprise to us. Instead, what keeps us entertained are the ways that said artists interact with one another over the course of one day, even if they aren’t aware of it. These remote lives intersect at the same venues, on street corners, at laundromats—and without a word shared, they each perform their artistic duties in the same space as each other, never to know of their shared hustle.
That same hustle is what runs a city like New York, is it not? Catching a cab, hopping on a bike, running down the street to get to the next gig, the next meeting, and then to pick kids up from school. Low angles shooting upwards, or wide shots catching the city from above, help us indulge in the magnitude and grandiose of this chaotic, and yet, cohesive town.
It’s what makes stories like this one, in this reviewer’s opinion, so in-tune with the life of a city. And while these are separate stories and lives, they are still lived in the same few zip codes, with the same faces, and the same traffic—which is one of the few outside noises heard throughout the film other than the overlaid music.
Writer, director, and editor Salvatore D’Alia constructs a taste of these humble lives in nearly fourteen minutes. And even more satisfactory is the way it ends, with a literal BANG and pay-off for all these hungry creatives.
If you enjoy the stories of artists who grind for their passions as well as breathtaking cinematography, carve out some for this short film, which this viewer suggests will not disappoint.
Photos courtesy of Adorama
About the Author:
Margaret Smith is a writer, editor, and critic achieving her B.A. from Columbia College Chicago. Having migrated from small-town Illinois, she now dwells in Chicago with a curious eye for art and a penchant for commentary. When not putting pen to paper, you might catch her about the city sipping coffee and filling in crossword puzzles.