Once upon a time, in 1915, a German saboteur arrived to Manhattan to interrupt the export of American munitions to Britain. He soon finds a collaborator in a wayward stevedore who unwittingly leads him to a group of labor anarchists. Sabotage and betrayal soon turn these bedfellows into agents of the other’s tragic end. In the spirit of a silent film from the era, this musical melodrama plays itself out through the interaction of archival images and the theatrical rendition of lives as they might have been lived on The Manhattan Front
Cathy Lee CRANE has been charting a speculative history on film since 1994. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts as well as grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her award-winning films (which include the experimental biographies Pasolini’s Last Words and Unoccupied Zone: The Impossible Life of Simone Weil) have screened at the Viennale, San Francisco International Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Cinematheque Francais, BFI, and Arsenal/Berlin. Her body of work received its first survey in 2015 as part of the American Original Now series at the National Gallery of Art. Her first feature-length fiction film The Manhattan Front (2018) premiered at SFIndie Fest where it received rave reviews. It went on to win the Lois Webber Award at the Bare Bones International Film Festival in 2019. In a quarter century of filmmaking, she has also served as director of photography for many artists including for Harun Farocki’s groundbreaking Prison Images (2000) and Nikki Appino’s Club Diamond, an experimental theatre piece that premiered at the Public Theatre’s Under the Radar showcase in January 2017. Crane is near completion of Crossing Columbus, a feature documentary about the Mexico/US border. Crane is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College.