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Visions of a City1978

  • 3.7
Sepia toning lends a romantic (even wistful) quality to Larry Jordan's film VISIONS OF A CITY, which he shot in San Francisco in 1957 and edited in 1978. The pace is unirritating, in contrast to the San Francisco of today; but unlike the equal weight Helen Levill gives to all her subjects, there is an internal evolutionary development in the Jordan film that ultimately delivers a story. Until the introduction of the human protagonist, poet Michael McClure, we are treated to an extravagant display of visual delights.

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"[A] gorgeously evocative record of [...] a city (San Francisco) seemingly made entirely of reflective surfaces." - Gary Morris, Bright Lights Film Journal


1 member likes this review

Shimmering with sepia-toned heat reflected from any surface the filmmaker can find this documentary gives a different view of what would later be called Baghdad By The Bay. This is the San Francisco the Beats found, the San Francisco before Hippies, AIDs and Silicon Valley. It really existed, this poetic town of hills and views, streetcars and cable cars. And Larry Jordan has captured it editing it years later with nostalgic hindsight perhaps?

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Member Reviews (5)

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top reviewer

Shimmering with sepia-toned heat reflected from any surface the filmmaker can find this documentary gives a different view of what would later be called Baghdad By The Bay. This is the San Francisco the Beats found, the San Francisco before Hippies, AIDs and Silicon Valley. It really existed, this poetic town of hills and views, streetcars and cable cars. And Larry Jordan has captured it editing it years later with nostalgic hindsight perhaps?

1 member likes this review
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"Visions of a City" oscillates between clever, attractive photography and glances to the side at an older San Francisco. There's lots to enjoy here. Well worth a look.

1 member likes this review
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This is more than a vision of a city. It's a double vision. This is a lost San Francisco 0f 1957 captured on film as reflections on plate glass windows. We see a dreamlike, lost civilization drifting through ripples of time. It's both a postcard and a time machine.

Short, compelling, mysterious.