Sidewalk Stories

Feb 07 - Feb 13, 2014

(Charles Lane, United States, 1989, DCP, 98 min)

New digital restoration!

While riding the subway home late one night after a graveyard shift in 1988, Charles Lane struck up a conversation with a homeless man about that night’s championship boxing match. Two months later, writer-director-star Lane started production on his first feature.

A tale of the friendship between a tramp and a little girl, Sidewalk Stories is a black and white silent comedy that deftly pays tribute both to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid and the human experiences of homelessness on the streets of New York. Awarded the Guggenheim Special Prize as “The Best Source of Inspiration for Children,” this restoration is a timely rediscovery of a significant work from 1980s New African-American cinema. 

"Inspired by Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, the film moves with a clean, well-paced narrative. . .Michel Hazanavicius cited [this] largely forgotten film as a key inspiration for his Oscar-wining The Artist." —Film Comment

"[Lane's] frames create a wild spontaneity that can morph from riveting to fun to tense and alien in the space of a half-block." —Slant

“Sidewalk Stories received a 15-minute ovation at Cannes, had a limited release, turned up on TV, and then basically disappeared, which is tragic. You might never have heard of it, but thanks to this rediscovery, restoration and rerelease, that’ll never be the case again.” —The L Magazine


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