It arrives like clockwork—or as close to clockwork as things get in this city—cutting through space with a roaring rush of steel on steel. It’s so omnipresent many say they no longer hear it at all, but to a newcomer it can sound like an impending storm, a growl of thunder that momentarily overtakes the neighborhood, booming by on rails that cast everything beneath it in cool, hard shadows.Shadow World - David Kessler's videoblog.
This is where the characters live.
Nancy. Maria. Nick. Strawberry. They all reside near the stretch of El tracks that cuts up North Front Street and along Kensington Avenue. And though most of them don’t realize it, they’re also connected by something other than geography: the lens of David Kessler.
“It’s weird because in my head they’re all celebrities,” says Kessler, who lives in a cramped padlocked apartment at Front and Dauphin streets, a block from the El. “But I have to remember they probably don’t remember me. It’s like a five-minute interaction.”
Kessler, 32, is a spindly, soft-spoken artist and filmmaker from the suburbs of North Jersey, who moved to Philadelphia in 1996. He’s talking about his cast of characters—subjects of his latest project, a video blog called Shadow World that’s recently been getting attention from filmmakers, bloggers, journalists and even historians.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Video Blog: Under the Philadelphia El Train
Cassidy Hartmann writes in Philadelphia weekly about filmmaker David Kessler in On the Right Track