LADIES OF FIFTH AVENUE

On March 11th 1927, the Fox Movietone cameras were sent out to Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan to shoot some footage of stylish young flappers traipsing about the area outside of Saks Fifth Avenue, presumably for a newsreel featurette. The surviving footage–just a snippet of what was shot–has been colorized and bumped to 60 FPS which, along with its added ambient sound, gives this little window into the past a marvelously fresh and realistic vibe. The camera appears to be on some sort of miniature dolly and the footage remains an outtake largely because the framing isn’t very good–one longs to see more of the women’s faces and less of their dresses. But then again, that gives it a certain ‘verite’ quality that enhances the reality of the moment–nothing planned and fancy here, just a moment in time captured and preserved.

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