Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hidden Towers

J. Stuart Blackton made "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" in 1906. This is the oldest extant piece of animation we have. There may be a few trickfilms (like Blackton's own "Enchanted Drawing") and non-cinema novelties (notably Reynaud's advanced take on the praxinoscope) which predate it -but to the best of our knowledge this is the first.

Blackton was a partner in Vitagraph which means that he probably filmed the animation on their lot in Brooklyn.

The site is currently a Schule for girls, but at least the smokestack remains. Its nudged up against the above ground Q train, and beyond that the somewhat poetically appropriate Edward R. Murrow High School further prevents a clear view.

But its there. Perhaps easier to see in the winter after the trees go bare.

Perhaps its more appropriate to visit in the dead of January as further reminder of the ghosts in our own backyard.

Far up the back, the disrepair is evident.
With the new school year starting, lots of garbage gets tossed at the smokestack's base.

Entrance to the smokestack. They had a lot of drawings to burn.

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