The Film Society of Lincoln Center's 'Going Steadi: 40 Years of the Steadicam' showcases 29 movies, including 'Pulp Fiction,' 'Goodfellas,' 'The Shining,' and 'A.I. Artificial Intelligence'
Rocky screengrab Stedicam

A movie camera that could float smoothy like a gliding bird had long been the Holy Grail of filmmakers since the silent era. In 1976, with the release of Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory, followed by Sylvester Stallone running up the Philly Museum steps in Rocky, cinema was altered forever by the invention of one such tool called the Steadicam. Rocky’s run up the stairs, in fact, was filmed as a test of the new technology.

New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center is celebrating the Steadicam’s 40th birthday with a retrospective of 29 movies that best exemplify the mechanism’s use. Beginning Friday and running through Jan. 3, the program features Bound for Glory and Rocky (of course), as well as classics from Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, Gus Van Sant, and Stanley Kubrick, whose final film Eyes Wide Shut will show on Christmas Day. Alexander Sokurov’s extraordinary Russian Ark, a movie filmed in one unbroken 99-minute Steadicam shot, and the cult roller disco classic Xanadu, will also screen.

Steadicam creator Garrett Brown, 76, who won a special Academy Award for its invention and development, will appear in person on Friday to introduce Bound for Glory at 6:30 p.m. ET and John Schlesinger’s Marathon Man at 9:30 p.m., and on Saturday to introduce Rocky at 6:30 p.m. and a special 35 mm print of Kubrick’s The Shining at 9:00 p.m.

Check out these three dreamy trailers — all accompanied by the aching beauty of Schubert’s “Piano Trio Number 2” — for the series. Tickets and more information can be found on the Film Society’s website.