What’s on TV Friday: ‘Sidewalk Stories’ and ‘Space Force’

SIDEWALK STORIES (1989) Stream on Criterion Channel and Vudu; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. New York City has a complicated relationship with silence, given that the people who live there can’t really ever fully experience it. That makes the quiet of “Sidewalk Stories” even more striking. Filmed in black and white and mostly silent (à la Charlie Chaplin), the movie follows a homeless Greenwich Village street artist (played by Charles Lane, who also wrote and directed the film) who cares for an abandoned toddler in 1980s New York. When the movie came out, it was a novel mishmash of early Hollywood technique and a then-contemporary setting. Three decades later, it offers a different viewing experience: it’s a time capsule of 1980s New York. Criterion Channel is showing the movie as a virtual double-feature on Friday, alongside one of its clear influences: Chaplin’s THE KID (1921).

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