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IF I COULD HOP IN A TIME MACHINE, Amsterdam in 1983 would make my top 10.

In his film of that year, “My Amsterdam,” Ed van der Elsken goes on an adventure in people watching, giving us a raw glimpse at some of the strangest and most interesting people in the city.

Still from the movie

Elsken, a Dutch photographer and filmmaker, walked the streets with his video camera. Back then, this was rare. He interacted with his subjects from behind the camera, eliminating the need for interviewer or presenter, creating an experience that unfolds like street life.

Elsken’s exhibit, “The Darkroom: Extraordinary stories from the history of Dutch photography,” is on display at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.

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