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Culture

Rare Interviews of 70s NYer’s show how little (and how much) things have changed

By Rob Grams

Rare Interviews of 70s NYer’s show how little (and how much) things have changed

A collection of “man-on-the-street” interviews made in NYC in the late 70s surfaced recently and, depressingly, the only thing that seems to have changed is the fashion. See for yourself.

When looking at “man-on-the-street” interviews from almost 40 years ago, you’d expect the subjects to express the kind of outdated opinions that would be alien to modern New Yorkers. Sadly that’s not the case.

The interviews are outtakes of what would have been a documentary on the coming of the information age by filmmaker David Hoffman.

Questions about who has the power in society, bureaucracy and digital computing generate the same kind of answers yo9u might get if you beat the streets on NYC today; a lack of trust in corporate America,  a feeling of powerlessness against the relentless march technology and the richest in society wielding all the power.

That’s not to say that NOTHING has changed. One thing we certainly noticed when we watched was in the nerves of the people being interviewed and the crowds that gathere4de around the camera. We live in an age where we almost assume that when we leave our front door we are being filmed and photographed. The people on camera display the skittishness of people who have never been in front of a lens before. As they nervously answer the word association or direct questions, passers-by gawp in wonder at the camera as if it were the first time they’d seen one.

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This is a wonderful insight into the psychology of our city, how it has changed, and how it hasn’t. Enjoy:

Featured image source [YouTube|David Hoffman]