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
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.

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.
Shadow World - David Kessler's videoblog.


  1. Anonymous12:18 PM

    I think that this type of bloging will become more and more popular in the future. not only because of the technological development ( for instance offers a easy to use and very versatile tool), but also because it is a more emotional way of telling people what you think and feel.
    of course big companies will and have,(facebook uses applications for instance) realize how attractive it is to use such tools in their website. this trend i am sure will grow stronger in the future

  2. Yes! Thanks for pointing out David's work. He's doing really awesome things with his blog, and I'm happy to see him getting attention for it!