The MTA has now begun its long good-bye to the MetroCard, as it's planning a new contactless system proposed to launch in some locations by 2019. But while the current technology is still around, let's celebrate it—it turns out it's the 25th anniversary of Automated Fare Collection turnstiles, which was the beginning of MetroCard usage.
That brings us to this lovely, all-too-relatable short film by Pacho Velez and Yoni Brook, Mr. Yellow Sweatshirt, which was filmed in a Queens subway station over the course of many hours. Brook explained, "Pacho and I were looking for a way to tell a different story about the NYC subway—so we spent several months exploring it from a visual and aural perspective. When we found this unique angle in the Jackson Heights station, we decided to spend 24 hours there and see what happens. Luckily the MTA allows photography without a permit (hat tip to section 1050.9 of the code of conduct!), so we could charm most cops who questioned why we had a RED camera and 3 microphones suspended from the ceiling."
"We sifted through hours of our favorite little moments, and Mr. Yellow Sweatshirt rose to the top," Brook added. "We identified with his struggle to navigate the strange pieces of plastic and metal that get between him and his destination—we've all been in his shoes. Hopefully when the MTA replaces the Metrocard with something better, we'll remember it fondly for the moments of connection between people trying to make it work."
Mr. Yellow Sweatshirt was shown at the Toronto Film Festival and New York Film Festival.