Marco Raimondi made this achingly gorgeous ode to the West 4th Street subway station that almost makes me long for the M train. Still frames of the cracked tiles and yellow light bulbs are broken up by close-ups of those waiting for the train: a man adjusting his wedding ring, the intense focus on a woman’s scarf just before a train comes speeding past her, billowing it up and away from her hair. The escalator steadily climbing upward, the people leaning down the tunnel, yearning for headlights—the whole video has an ever-building feeling of waiting, of anticipation. The desaturation of the film’s colors makes the skeptical passengers staring at the camera seem like members of some exotic tribe. It’s as if Raimondi used a lens that makes what is undeniably an unglamorous, quotidian experience otherworldly and cinematic.
The question is whether or not this film counts as a Tourist’s Eye View. Read Raimondi’s description of the film and determine for yourself: “New York City Subway’s footage shot before I was advice by an MTA man to stop use my camera, because otherwise cops could give me a ticket….but at least I’ve got something…”