Modernism + Film | Transporation Shorts & Panel Discussion

Modernism + Film | Transporation Shorts & Panel Discussion



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6:00 PM: Pre-Film Reception in Bechtler Lobby
7:00 PM: Film Begins with Panel Discussion to Follow

Film and transportation infrastructure share a special relationship. The invention of motion pictures just before the turn of the twentieth century coincides with explosive urban growth and the emergence of mass transit, and filmmakers have long recognized urban mobility as one of their medium’s most vital subjects—settings for dramatic and comedic narratives, subjects of historical research, and fodder for artistic experimentation.

Presented in partnership with Sustain Charlotte as part of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s Modernism and Film series, this month’s film features a program of short films spanning productions in six different cities on four different continents, from the first-ever film of the New York City Subway to recent works set in the contemporary city. Methods span narrative, documentary, and experimental genres. Subjects include underground rail systems, buses, bikes, a so-called flying train, and a pedestrian occupation of a decommissioned highway. Together, the films in the program speak to the social, historical, and aesthetic dimensions of public transportation, and they celebrate the power of art to provoke ideas and inspire discussion.

After the Film Panel Discussion

Join us after the film for a panel discussion featuring local and regional stakeholders committed to improving the public transportation culture of Charlotte and car-centric cities like it. Program panelists include Scott Curry, AICP, CNU-A, Kittelson & Associates, Inc., Associate Planner / Urban Designer; Meg Fencil, Sustain Charlotte, Director of Engagement & Impact; David Hampsten, MURP, Transit Alliance of the Piedmont, Treasurer & Greensboro Community Bike Shop, Grants Manager; Ed McKinney, Charlotte Department of Transportation, Deputy Director; Luke Volkmar, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT, Neighboring Concepts, Co-Studio Lead; and moderator Thomas Forget, UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture, Associate Professor.

As Charlotte continues to grow and its future as a major American metropolis becomes inevitable, these films reveal social and material conditions that may be part of that future, if we begin to act now. This event invites transit-loving citizens to participate in a discussion on the opportunities in our region to become more public through mobility.


Tickets are $8 members, $10 nonmembers, and $5 with valid school I.D. Cash/credit bar and light bites will be available in the Bechtler lobby starting at 6:00 PM followed by the presentation and film screening in the Knight Theater at 7 PM. Purchase tickets online at or call 704.353.9209.

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Film Program (Total Run Time: 56 minutes)

Interior N.Y. subway, 14th St. to 42nd St (Billy Bitzer, 1905): 6:14
3rd Avenue El (Carson Davidson, 1950): 10:30
Schwebebahn (Arianna Olthaar, 2016): 3:38
Tokyo - Ebisu (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2010): 5:00
Linie 34 (Michael Karrer, 2020): 10:00
I MY Bike (Ken Rosenthal, 2002): 5:00
Into the Mass (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2007): 7:00
Above and Below the Minhocão (Mark Lewis, 2014): 8:00

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ex © 2023 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
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