New York has appeared in more movies than Michael Caine, and as a result of overfamiliarity, the City poses a problem for critics and casual moviegoers alike. Audiences mistake the New York image of skyscrapers and glitter for the real thing, but in fact the City is a network of small villages, each with its unique personality. ""Street Smart"" offers a novel approach to understanding the cultural influences of New York's neighborhoods on the work of four quintessentially New York filmmakers: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee. The city's diverse economic and ethnic enclaves, where people live, work, shop, worship, bank, and go to school, often have little relationship to the concept of New York City created by the movies. Their New York, however, is as real as the smell of fried onions in the stairwell of an apartment building, and it is this New York, not the movie New York, that has left its impressions on their films. Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee's imaginations have been shaped by their neighborhoods, not the New York of the movies. In turn, these directors have used their own life experiences to shape their films. Richard A. Blake examines their home villages - from Flatbush and Fort Green in Brooklyn to the Lower East Side of Manhattan - to enrich our critical understanding of the films of four of America's most accomplished contemporary filmmakers.
Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 644 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
"Finalist for the 2005 Theater Library Association Award." --
"Written in an easy, conversational style, Street Smart is a thoughtful, meaningful exercise in film criticism." -- Blogcritics.org
"in the films of four quintessential New Yorkers: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee." -- Choice
"Part cultural study and part film analysis, Blake turns to four of the city's most revered auteurs to offer readers a lesson in true New York: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee." -- MovieMaker
"There has been perhaps no other city that has exercised such a strong influence on its native filmmakers or on thematic material in film." -- Raymond Haberski, author of It's Only a Movie!