Those of you who’ve hung around here for a great while might remember a series of posts I put up back in 2010 about a short, silent film by a gent named Lowell Bodger. At some point in the very early 70’s, Bodger filmed a simple walk down a fairly crowded West 8th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. In this post, I re-exhumed Bodger’s film and “updated” it with a video of my own, wherein my cherubic little kindernauts and I replicated Bodger’s journey, only to find a markedly less populated street peppered with myriad empty storefronts. Click back here to see that, should you care.
In ensuing years, other folks have been similarly inspired by Bodger’s film. By way of example, a somewhat mysterious YouTube user dubbed 12319gp manipulated Bodger’s film to act as a hazily surreal music video for a song called “The Role These Years Have Played in My Life.” Check that out…
Cool, right? Bodger’s visuals really meld with the song’s dreamy, hypnotic vibe.
Meanwhile, another YouTuber named Jonathan Cronin took at stab at “stabilizing” Bodger’s original film, put off — I suppose — by the bounces and wiggles caused by the filmmaker’s gait. Here’s that “stabilized” version…
Seven years later, I may try -- at some point -- to re-update Bodger's 8th Street walk with my kids, but we'll see.
Meanwhile, Lowell Bodger is also responsible for this other silent film, featuring a sleepy period around Astor Place and Broadway, which I first wrote about here (noting its vibe of “languid tranquility”). It’s a seductive slice of downtown’s past before the area got so busy.
And, once again, some enterprising soul repurposed Bodger’s footage to score a homemade video for “Down on the Street” by the mighty Stooges, which is dead cool, despite the fact that the Stooges were from Michigan, not NYC.
Lastly, here’s one last excerpt of another film by Lowell Bodger, dubbed — mysteriously — “Favorable Conditions.”