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Matinee: 'Shots In The Dark' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

20 November 2021

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 423rd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Shots In The Dark with David Godlis.

Lewie & Noah Kloster produced this 7:21 look at Manhattan photographer David Godlis's images of the night life at the Bowery's legendary CBGB, "the undisputed birthplace of punk rock."

Godlis does the voice over narration to the animated frames cut from his images. You can see the originals at Photos by Godlis so no harm is done and it's a bit of fun bringing the old stills to life.

What we found particularly interesting about this video was how Godlis fell into this work. He'd been assisting a product photographer and getting bored out of his skull, escaping to the CBGB at night where he fell into a funk at the bar over not being able to shoot street photography during the day.

This is an occupational hazard of anyone with an occupation and a dream. You spend your best hours doing the dumbest things until, drained dry (as the poet Yeats put it), you have a little time to yourself.

So there he was at the bar feeling sorry for himself when it occurred to him that his subject was surrounding him. Why not shoot life in the Bowery at night?

Well, there were technical reasons. It's dark, for one. And he was limited to the sensitivity of the film emulsions of the 1970s for another. That was ISO 400, out of the box.

But he worked that out. He tells us how. And we found that, as we said, particularly interesting.

Because you don't get anywhere in this life until you figure out how to clear the hurdles in front of you.

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