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Street Smart (Hardback)

The New York of Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Film, Media & Television

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 360
Illustrations: photos
ISBN: 9780813123578
Published: 16th September 2005
Casemate UK Academic

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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 impression 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.

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