HBOVoyeur: ‘Short Cuts’ Meets Google Street View

The HBOVoyeur premiere at Ludlow and Broome. Photo: Sara Cardace

HBO has been touting their new project HBOVoyeur with a rigor usually reserved for all things Tony and Carmela, and we were intrigued, if skeptical: If this mysterious project was going to be so amazing, what was with all the secrecy?

Well, our skepticism evaporated last night at the project's premiere. Party attendees were gently urged to move from cocktail hour at Casani's to a vacant lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome. Despite a flash downpour, at exactly 9 p.m., massive projectors rigged to an HBO truck parked nearby started beaming a short film onto the side of a whitewashed apartment building nearby and the crowd went silent. Separated into twelve different moving parts that mimicked the cross-section of the building's infrastructure, the installation featured fluctuating story lines that played off each other in intricate ways: A woman in labor lurched out her door to stumble into a raucous after-party going on across the hall; a man mourned the passing of an elderly woman as her spirit drifted through the apartments above; a pacing woman fled her apartment to reunite with her lover in the staircase as smoke-alarm sprinklers drove the whole building mad.

The magical, riveting film, a cross between Short Cuts and Google Street View, was only five minutes long, but few onlookers could tear themselves away without watching it loop for a half-hour or more — the promise of covetable gift bags be damned. —Sara Cardace

Related: Okay, HBO: We'll Bite [Vulture]