Prodigal daughter Sachs returns with a dramatic ethnography on a little-seen subculture: older residents of “shift-bed” apartments in New York’s Chinatown, where immigrants are jammed into shared rooms, beds in use around the clock.
n the future, we may all be personal filmmakers, making the kinds of films that fit few genres but truly express our innermost creative impulse. Lynne Sachs is just that filmmaker, and she’s this month’s guest at Speakeasy Cinema.
The ground rules were set early on in the IFP Film Week panel “Neorealist Features & Hybrid Documentaries.” There was to be no talk about “business.” We were here to talk about art — the art of cinema and how to transcend categorization.
When the experimental filmmaker Lynne Sachs taught avant-garde filmmaking at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992, few if any in our class had ever heard of the essayist Chris Marker, with whom she later collaborated on Three Cheers for the Whale, or Trinh T. Minh-ha, whose approach to filmmaking strongly influenced her own.
On July 15, The DocYard series, running Monday nights at the Brattle Theatre, will host writer-director Lynne Sachs and her gorgeous, intimate look inside one very crowded New York Chinatown apartment, Your Day Is My Night.
A couple of years ago, when I was just beginning the work on my most recent film Your Day is My Night, I happened to notice an astonishing photo essay by Annie Ling in the New York Times. Annie had spent a year taking a series of exquisite photographs of a group of residents living at 81 Bowery Street in Chinatown. It became clear to me that the work she was doing corresponded on multiple levels with my own film project on the shift-bed houses of Chinatown. I decided to contact Annie so we could talk about our shared interests.