2010, Josef Astor, USA, 78 min.
“A sad and spirited elegy…It is staggering to contemplate how much of New York’s cultural history is contained in the square feet Mr. Astor surveys.”
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Since 1891, one of Manhattan’s most fascinating byways was the Carnegie Hall Studios, a funky oasis of 160 artist studios built atop the concert hall by Andrew Carnegie. For over a century, it served as a haven for illustrious icons (Marlon Brando, Enrico Caruso, Barnett Newman, Isadora Duncan, Leonard Bernstein, Norman Mailer, and Bill Cunningham, to name just a few), as well as many lesser known figures equally precious to the cultural vitality of the city. When the landlord began clearing out the artists to make way for office space in 2001, photographer and 20-year resident Josef Astor started to make this film about the tenants and their fight to save their sanctuaries. LOST BOHEMIA is less a rage-against-the-machine polemic than a lovely, valedictory valentine to a unique community of artists, eccentrics, and survivors. HDCAM video. (MR)