Skip to Content

Slideshow

  • A black and white image of the Brooklyn Bridge.
LAST DAY

FREE TIME

Now Streaming

MUST END THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3

RENT NOW
$12.00 for 3-day rental period. Your rental helps support Film Forum.

DIRECTED AND EDITED BY MANFRED KIRCHHEIMER

-Plus-

UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
DIRECTED BY RUDY BURCKHARDT

In the tradition of New York’s greatest street photographers, Manny Kirchheimer’s FREE TIME is a new film based on lustrous B&W footage he and Walter Hess shot throughout the city from 1958-1960. New York’s stately architectural beauty contrasts with rough and raw scenes of kids playing stickball, window washers balancing precariously, and stoop-sitters reading the paper or daydreaming. The ways in which life in Washington Heights differs from Hell’s Kitchen, the Upper West Side, or the Financial District are captured with a sensitive, loving eye and an ear for the musical rhythms of city life. Complementing FREE TIME is Rudy Burckhardt’s classic UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE: Early 1950s Brooklyn is both majestic and grubby, dangerous and exhilarating – but never more so than when a gaggle of boys strip off their clothes and dive into the East River for a swim.

FREE TIME
USA    1960 / 2020    61 MINS.    CINEMA CONSERVANCY

UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
USA    1953    15 MINS.

Reviews

On FREE TIME:

“[Kirchheimer is] one of the great documentary filmmakers.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“A beautiful portrait of youth, decay, and solitude in New York City. There is power in silence. This 60-minute exploration of New York City speaks louder than most films. Kirchheimer’s 60-year-career fundamentally consists of nonfictional love letters to the sprawling urban landscape of NYC. Kirchheimer’s editing transforms the city into a living creature. The atmosphere morphs form tranquil to crushing with a simple dissolve. Time cannot be stopped, only endured… Reading between the lines is rarely this rewarding. A pensive meditation on the mundanity of the metropolitan landscape.”
– Jonathan Christian, The Playlist

“A jazzy montage of exquisitely lensed Manhattan street scenes - musical passages from the likes of Bach and Basie share a soundtrack with select cues… In FREE TIME, you don’t hear noise, you hear notes.”
– Eric Hynes, Film Comment

“A poetic film. Lyrically evokes leisurely summer days in New York. Filled with the beauty of the everyday. Serenely buoyant.”
– Leonard Quart, Cineaste

On UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE:

“Sharp and memorable. Vignettes of the demolition of an ancient warehouse juxtaposed against scenes of nude boys swimming and diving from decayed piers in the blight areas… Informative and fascinating visual history.”
– A.H. Weiler, The New York Times

Trailer