Browse By

Real West, and Bridge – two films by Kevin Allen

Kevin Allen has received the NYC Film and Video Grant from the Jerome Foundation for his upcoming film Real West.


Real West is a film that focuses on two roadside ghost towns in South Dakota. The past is conjured through material and cultural artifacts, from a decrepit wagon wheel to an out-of-tune player piano to a staged gunfight. Tourists are encouraged to not only experience, but also to re-enact these historical environments. The film will combine strategies of sensory ethnography and landscape film, asking what it means to re-present experience and to re-enact place. Camera and microphone function as archeological tools, uncovering the material traces of this living history.

He also recently screened his short film Bridge at Ethnographic Terminalia in San Francisco. Ethnographic Terminalia is a curatorial collective in its fourth year that runs in tandem with the American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting.


Bridge is a study of three similar but distinct microcultures: the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge. Interrogated through the use of contact microphones, the physical infrastructures of these bridges become audible and reveal their inherent macroacoustics. The film treats the bridge as an anthropological body for discourse, as a physiology of limbs, organs, eyes and ears moving in time.