A gritty, low-fi documentary about Manhattan’s street booksellers which abounds in fascinating detail. The director and narrator, Jason Rosette, shows how bookselling is the kissing cousin of another urban art form: drug dealing. Both require a knowledge of profitable corner locations, an experienced eye for potential addicts, and a steady supply of mood-altering substances. In the case of books, you want to be holding works by Carlos Castaneda and Kurt Vonnegut, perennial best-sellers on the street. It’s a hardscrabble existence: most street booksellers do not vend stolen books; they rely on church fairs, garbage-picking, and the state of New Jersey—“land of the two-dollar book.” Unlike most war pics, the underdogs don’t win in the end: Mayor Giuliani’s quality-of-life campaign dispersed much of the community captured here.(via new yorker)
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