TRAVELING SHOTS: NYC


TRAVELING SHOTS: NYC 16 min, color, video, 2014

"Diane Nerwen’s 2014 film Traveling Shots: NYC, exhibited in carriage trade’s Picture City III in 2016, describes an urban odyssey which draws on seven decades of movies filmed on location in New York City. Making our way through the subways, streets, and highways in and around what might be the most filmed metropolis on the planet, Nerwen’s subject, unlike the many films that it’s derived from, is the environment of the city itself.

Rarely revealing the faces of actors whom we may recognize, Traveling Shots emphasizes the complex choreography of routine movements within a city of eight million people. Assembled from a vast archive of the less glamorous bits of Hollywood films that appropriate New York as a backdrop, the background is brought forward, reversing the hierarchy of star actor to city, while also threading through several decades of films to arrive at a new semblance of a whole.

In the absence of an identity driven narrative that adopts urban clichés of grit or glamour to support or enhance a particular storyline, Nerwen’s film liberates the fixed subject / viewer relationship, replacing it with a kind of utilitarian mindset that many of us adopt as we navigate the city in our everyday lives. As it teases out non-fiction elements underneath the representations of popular media, Traveling Shots: NYC creates a kind documentary effect through the rearrangement and reconstruction of the process through which the city is perpetually fictionalized."

-Text by Peter Scott, carriage trade, NY 
Public Images 

"Diane Nerwen’s “Traveling Shots: NYC” (2014), which weaves together passing views of the city from Hollywood movies, includes tantalizing glimpses of checkered cabs, Times Square strip clubs, and even Manhattan’s old elevated trains, serving as a timely reminder that we’ve always been losing New York."
New York Times

"Accompanied by a jazzy soundtrack and introduced by a voice-over waxing lyrical about the city’s distinctive appeal of speed, grit, and glamour, Traveling Shots: NYC (2014) by Diane Nerwen is a non-narrative montage of clips taken from major motion pictures and lesser-known films shot in New York during the better part of the 20th century. Tailing Hollywood actors around the metropolis, the film foregrounds the urban environment as a lived everyday experience which persists though we might be little aware of it, painting incidentally a quintessential picture of the most filmed city in the world."
The Brooklyn Rail

Selected screenings: "Public Images", carriage trade, NY "Picture City lll", carriage trade, NY; VOLTA NY, carriage trade, New York, NY; 8th Glasgow Short Film Festival, Scotland, UK; Experiments in Cinema, Albuquerque, NM; Athens International Film and Video Festival, OH; Victoria Film Festival, BC, Canada

Additional Press:
The Architect's Newspaper
Haber Arts