Pleasures of Urban Decay is an offbeat film about Ben Katchor, who has been hailed as the creator of the last great American comic strip. Katchor’s Yiddish-inflected voice guides us through a vast and shadowy landscape of old skyscrapers, neglected warehouses, lay-away stores and all-night cafeterias.
Directed by San Francisco filmmaker Sam Ball and shot like a 1950’s film noir with angular buildings, bridges, billboard advertisements and radical changes in perspective, Pleasures of Urban Decay peers behind the city’s facades and through its cracks. Katchor and his hero, Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, help us uncover the symbolism and romance of New York’s TV antennae, cellar doors and water towers, turning the city’s everyday trappings into urban poetry.
Pleasure of Urban Decay
16 min. documentary
Producer: Liam Romalis
Director: Sam Ball
Official Selection, 2000 Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, 2000 Rotterdam Film Festival