Ever catch your friends complaining about how the subways have no character anymore? First of all, remind them that riders are now just as terrified of picking up bedbugs as they were of being mugged back in the day, which has to count for something. Second, direct them to BAM’s “Retro Metro” film series starting in late September, which will trace the history of the subway system in film, from the 30s to the 90s. Opening the series? The Warriors!
According to a press release, “Retro Metro” will run from September 26 until October 5, with one or two old movies that spend some screen time on the old subway running each day at BAM. The films stretch back as far as 1928 with Speedy (October 3), a movie about a horse-drawn carriage driver trying to save the city’s embattled horse drawn carriage from the encroaching threat of mass transit (that’ll be required viewing for the staff at the Daily News we bet…) and go up to 1992’s Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (September 30), a character study of a young black woman from the projects determined to make it to college until those plans go awry.
In between those decades, Retro Metro will travel from the jazzy stories of the 30s, 40s and 50s before pulling into the 60s and 70s, what everyone talks about when they talk about missing the old New York. Movies like The Warriors, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (September 28), Midnight Cowboy (September 28) and Saturday Night Fever (October 4) will show off the seedier side of the subway that your friend who insists he’d live here in the 70s likes so much. Brush up on separating the I.R.T. from I.N.D. and get your 9 train t-shirt out of those mothballs, it’s time to spend some quality time with the subway.