On The Bowery – starts January 22 at Cinema 21

On The Bowery was the first of Lionel Rogosin’s award-winning films, garnering the Grand Prize for Documentary at the 1956 Venice Film Festival, the British Award for Best Documentary and nomination for an Oscar as best documentary.

On The Bowery by Lionel Rogosin plays at Cinema 21 January 22 through January 27, 616 NW 21st Ave.

From the beginning, Rogosin’s style as an independent filmmaker was straightforward and compassionate. His films were made “from the inside,” showing subjects in their normal surroundings and allowing them to speak in their own words. By choosing ordinary people caught up in universal problems — homelessness, racial discrimination, war and peace, labor strife, and poverty — Rogosin made his point poignantly. Interestingly, he chose the Bowery and its inhabitants as his first subject — intending to reveal the reality of people who were drinking away their lives in an attempt to escape from it.

“Rogosin’s enduring slice of hard life runs little more than an hour but its grace, humor, and melancholy have the heft of eternal truths.”
Bill Weber in Slant Magazine

Lionel Rogosin’s 1957 skid-row quasi-doc is a quintessential chunk of New York history.”
J. Hoberman in Village Voice

“Rogosin’s famous, if underseen, landmark wades into the notorious human ruin as no other film ever did. A vérité version of The Iceman Cometh’s barrelhouse swoon, On the Bowery is a tumbler-shot of Walker Evans blues…also showing [is] a new making-of doc directed by Rogosin’s son, Michael, which answers many questions despite the fact that most of Bowery’s participants, cast, and crew, are long dead from drink.”
Michael Atkinson in Village Voice