Take nostalgia trip to 1950s Coney Island this week at Film Forum


If you’ve been wondering what Coney Island was like back before we were dreading the idea of an Applebee’s opening up there, now’s your chance. This week, Film Forum’s screening Little Fugitive, a 1953 film about an adorable 7-year-old who uses Brooklyn’s favorite amusement park as a hideout after he thinks he shot his big brother (don’t worry, it’s just a prank!)

Directed by native Brooklynite and New Wave pioneer Morris Engel, Little Fugitive features handheld shots of bygone Coney Island landmarks like the Steeplechase carousel, the Tornado rollercoaster and a working Parachute Jump, plus classics like the Wonder Wheel. And it’s a pretty accurate snapshot of the era. Engel used a concealed 35mm camera to follow star¬†Richie Andrusco – who Engel decided to cast after spotting him on a Coney Island carousel ¬†– and many of the crowds and carnies the camera captures were unknowing extras. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Writing in 1954, won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and is considered a major stylistic influence for the famous French New Wave film The 400 Blows. You can catch it at Film Forum through this Thursday; the theater is located at 209 West Houston street in Manhattan, and tickets are $12.50, members $7.

[h/t Amusing the Zillion]

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