The New York of Something Wild

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Jan 23, 2017

One of the most striking elements of Something Wild, Jack Garfein’s psychologically complex examination of trauma and attachment, is the 1960s New York City its distressed characters inhabit. Shot by Eugen Schüfftan, an Oscar-winning German cinematographer renowned for the special-effects technique he created for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the film’s stunning black-and-white images capture the beauty and oppressiveness of the city streets, the dizzying claustrophobia of subway cars, and quiet moments on the Manhattan Bridge just before rush hour. As Shelia O’Malley writes in her liner notes on our edition, Schüfftan was known for “blending poeticism and realism, the surreal and the documentary, a style that works perfectly with the urban terror of Something Wild. His street photography in the film captures New York in a way that had not been done before.” In a program on our release, excerpted in the clip below, Garfein sits down with critic Kim Morgan to discuss his experience bringing this gritty masterpiece of American independent cinema to life.