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Diary of a Times Square Thief

Short documentary, 2008, 58 min.

Filmmaker Bense likes to surf to the farthest corners of auction site eBay and makes some remarkable discoveries. When he comes across a diary, he immediately decides to place a bid. It turns out to contain such an intriguing story that he travels to New York to trace John, the journal's mysterious writer. While we see images of New York, the voice-over reads excerpts from the diary.
In the late eighties, the young man John moved from a provincial town to the Big Apple to become a famous writer. He unfortunately went to the dogs in the then unsavoury Times Square neighbourhood. He used to work at the ramshackle Times Square Hotel, which was populated by the colourful characters he describes in his diary. Bense tracks down some of them, who tell about their gritty life in the urban jungle of Times Square. Apparently, the people he interviews have not heard from John in a long time. Will he still be alive? The portraits are interwoven with archive footage, old Polaroids and virtuoso quotes from John's diary.

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