A beautifully framed and executed film, that doesn’t say anything specific, but still manages to convey a lot. It’s a window into a particular time and place, and I loved it.

united states, 1972


Hotel Monterey

I’m not sure I completely understand what captivates me so much about the past. History has always been a passion of mine. I think it’s part natural inclination, and part that I had a slew of incredible history teachers at a formative age. They inspired me to want to know more about the way things were, and how things happened. It’s why I have my own jazz history podcast. It’s also why I watch a lot of these films.

This film, with it’s complete lack of story, might at first seem a bit odd as an item of historical interest. But of course, it obviously is. It captures a very specific place, and a very specific time. One night in a rundown hotel on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It’s so fascinating to see the people, the fashion, and even the way the rooms are decorated, or the style of a lamp. I can see that this would be utterly boring for many, but the historical interest, combined with some truly special cinematography, is more than enough for me. I was totally enthralled.