This PBS collection of video’s was recommended to me by Shaker Paleja. He has very kindly borrowed it for me from the amazing Vancouver library, just a few blocks from my hotel.If you can get these in your city, DO. I couldn’t recommend them more.
The series begins with a voice-over by the writer, E.L. Doctorow, which I just had to include. He is speaking candidly, but his words are like poetry. Brilliant.
“If you imagine an ordinary moment
at any intersection in New York City,
and there’s a pause because there’s a street light,
and some are stopped and others are in motion,
if you were to put that – into film terms -
into freeze frame and hold everything for a second,
you would realize there is a universe there
of totally disparate intentions:
everybody going about his or her business
in the silence of their own minds,
with everyone else, and the street, and the time of day,
and the architecture, and the quality of the light,
and the nature of the weather,
as kind of background or field for the individual consciousness and the drama it is making in itself in that moment.
When you think about that -
that’s what happens in the city -
and that somehow the city can embrace
all that disparate intention
at one and the same time,
not only on that corner
but on thousands of corners.”