At work, I'm redesigning a little online exhibit about the Brooklyn Bridge. While working on the project, I happened to come across a short film by photographer Paul Strand called Manhatta. The film shows the everyday of New York City in 1920 and interweaves these scenes with the eponymous Walt Whitman poem that inspired the film.
What strikes me about this film is how beautifully it honors what we might call "mundane" about city life, what we would normally take for granted. It reminded me of one of my favorite films, another tribute to a city that I feel passionately about: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul. This film, funded by the Seoul municipal government, was made by crowdsourcing footage from people who have called Seoul home. Famed Oldboy director, Park Chan-wook, and his brother, Park Chan-kyoung were charged with going through the 160 hours of submissions and constructing a promotional movie for Seoul that showed the essence of the city, both good and bad. The result is this stream of consciousness documentary that, through its everyday footage of everyday life of everyday Seoul residents, offers a deeper and more intimate understanding of a city than any other municipal ad campaign ever could.
Do you know of any other documentaries that show the depth and intimacy of the everyday?