Filmmaker Stephen Kellam Mourns Old Penn Station, War Victims

As many New York history buffs can tell you, this year marks the 45th anniversary of the start of demolition on the old Penn Station — an architectural tragedy that helped kick-start the city’s preservationist movement and made many Gothamites realize that, sometimes, it’s not better to replace stately neoclassical buildings with grimy subterranean shitholes. Stephen Kellam’s Forever Yours is a short and hauntingly simple tale of love and loss during wartime — but in setting part of it in the old Penn Station (utilizing computer graphics to re-create it) Kellam brings extra resonance to his story. Suddenly, a film about a soldier dreaming of a rendezvous with his love back home becomes, in part, a film about our dreams of a lost world. Yes, there are currently efforts to bring that lost world back, but in the meantime, we’ll have Kellam’s film to help our imaginations along. —Bilge Ebiri