Thursday, January 09, 2014

Starring New York: Take One

Here's a thoughtfully groovy book that blends together movies and context, time and socio-economic setting. Stanley Corkin's Starring New York: Filming the Grime and the Glamour of the Long 1970s (Oxford University Press, 2011) looks at a slew of films from the late 1960s into the beginning of the 1980s, ranging from a detailed consideration of Midnight Cowboy to a glancing shot at Fort Apache, The Bronx. 

This tome also reminds readers that New York City went financially belly up in the 1970s much like Detroit is doing in early 2014. The former became a "successful" city again, but at the cost of driving most poor and working class people out of Manhattan as the housing core became more gentrified, yuppified, and high financialized.

Included in Starring New York are The Godfather and several other organized crime movies, Blaxploitation ("Harlem and the World"), undercover policing, vigilantism, and a final section on "Love, Marriage, and Fine City Living" that includes Woody Allen, An Unmarried Woman (1978) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). 
There were many sharp movies made in New York City in the 1970s, at the very extended moment when the metropolis disintegrated and was about to be "remade."
A couple of films that I thought might have been included were Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977); however, as of this posting, neither are easily available on DVD, plus the setting of the latter was moved from the novel's location (New York City) to elsewhere.

Today's Rune: Signals.  


Charles Gramlich said...

I was just coming of age in the 70s. I didn't remember that New York had had such a hard financial time.

the walking man said...

I was stationed in Brooklyn from late '72 to mid '74. Never saw a movie being made but the whole place felt surreal at the time.

jodi said...

Erik-those last two are two of my favorites! NYC is on my short lists of places I need to visit. Him-'fresh air'! Me-'Times Square'! teehee