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Dreaming Walls
Institute of Contemporary Arts
February 2023
An elderly resident of the Chelsea leans over the balcony of their hotel in the Chelsea Hotel, backdropped by tall New York buildings
Dreaming Walls, dir. Amélie van Elmbt & Maya Duverdier, Belgium / France / USA / Netherlands / Sweden 2022, 80 min., English, 15


As it faces transformation from a bohemian refuge to a luxurious palace, New York’s fabled Chelsea Hotel comes under the microscope in this evocative feature from Maya Duverdier and Amélie van Elmbt.

The Chelsea Hotel has been an icon of the New York counterculture for decades. Edie Sedgwick, Viva and other stars of Andy Warhol’s Factory lived here – as did Valerie Solanas, who shot the artist in 1968. Leonard Cohen and Janis Joplin had an affair here; Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith shared a second-floor room. But in the 21st century, the developers are moving in – and the 50-odd remaining residents are facing the prospect of a very different life. Executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, Duverdier and Van Elmbt’s feature explores the Chelsea’s utopian origins and its gentrified future – and what such a transformation means for a city famous for welcoming and sheltering outsiders.
 
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04:05 pm
Wed, 08 Feb 2023
Cinema 1

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