Empire (1964)

  |  Documentary


Empire (1964) Poster

A single shot of the Empire State Building from early evening until nearly 3 am the next day.


3.6/10
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Awards

1 win.

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30 September 2004 | PeterBradford
Mesmerizing, but not for everyone.
I saw EMPIRE at the Whitney some time circa the early 90's. I watched the first 90 minutes of it, which I thought was an appropriate feature length. The film is silent, which makes it difficult to watch in a theater. It's easy to get distracted by the sounds of viewers shifting in their seats, or the talking among the blue-haired ladies who had no idea what they walked into. The film works (at least the first 90 minutes) because the Empire State Building goes from dusk to night, so there is a change slowly occurring on the screen. The film is mesmerizing, and I don't think I have ever looked up at the Empire State Building since without thinking about this film. There is something captivating about staring at it's fixed image, flickering on screen at 16 frames per second (which is what it was shot at, and a projector at the Whitney was modified to run at that frame rate). I wouldn't sit through 8 hours of it, but it's worth viewing for the experience of seeing this rare film.

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