The Chelsea Hotel was a bohemian enclave in New York City. Artists, movie stars, and musicians passed through the halls during the height of avant-garde Manhattan. Now, the remaining long-term residents of the hotel mingle within the current renovations, attempting to coexist amongst the chaos.
The residents are an eclectic group of creators. Each possesses a unique story and a timeless aura about them. It just so happens that I know one of the artists and have a few of his pieces. A few years ago, Skye Ferrante (AKA Man Of Wire) recreated selected quotes sculpted from wire for each member of my family. They are one-of-a-kind creations. To watch him is to witness magic. Ferrante provides original and poetic voice-over passages of his own writing as we watch the chemistry between him and his models and his daughter. He is a snapshot, and one of the youngest, of the creative beings left behind.
Filmmakers Maya Duverdier and Amélie van Elmbt watch them maneuver within the halls and their respective spaces, listening to them recall their glory days and how long they think they can survive until renovations are complete. Their emotional attachments vary from apartment to apartment. Haunting footage of dark, cavernous hallways creates an eerie effect, while archival footage and audio layer on top of one another. It’s entrancing and a little rock ‘n roll. Tribeca 2022 audiences are in for a love letter and a history lesson in the form of a breathing time capsule.
CAST & CREDITS
Directed by Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier
Amélie van Elmbt studied at the IAD Film School. In 2011, she directed her first feature film, Headfirst. Her second feature The Elephant & The Butterfly premiered at Tribeca. Maya Duverdier holds a master’s degree in film from École cantonale d’art de Lausanne. Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel is her first feature-length documentary.
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