Catalogue


Street smart : the New York of Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee /
Richard A. Blake.
imprint
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, 2005.
description
xv, 335 p.
ISBN
0813123577 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, 2005.
isbn
0813123577 (alk. paper)
contents note
Cinema city : all around the town -- Lower East Side : Sidney Lumet -- Flatbush : Woody Allen -- Little Italy : Martin Scorsese -- Fort Greene : Spike Lee.
catalogue key
5562465
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-02-01:
Working to expand the definition of auteur theory to include place and location, Blake (Boston College) analyzes the use of New York City in the films of four quintessential New Yorkers: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee. In pursuing this thesis of place, the author creates a minibiography of each of the directors, examining both their connection to specific locales in New York (Lower East Side, Flatbush, Little Italy, and Fort Greene) and the part these locales play in their films. Much of the information gathered here can be found in the biographies and autobiographies of these directors. Because Blake concentrates solely on location, his thesis sometimes gets swallowed up in the tediously detailed and redundant summaries of the directors' film canons. This redundancy may serve to initiate some, but it will put off others, particularly those familiar with these film canons and biographies. Accordingly, this book will serve best as a companion to more comprehensive biographies and autobiographies and to enhance film theory and criticism collections. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Extensive collections serving lower-/upper-division undergraduates and above. A. F. Winstead Our Lady of the Lake University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Written in an easy, conversational style, Street Smart is a thoughtful, meaningful exercise in film criticism.-- Blogcritics.org" -- Blogcritics.org
"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! Films and Critics in American Cu
"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! Films and Critics in American Culture" -- Raymond Haberski, author of It's Only a Movie! Films and Critics in American Cu
"Written in an easy, conversational style, Street Smart is a thoughtful, meaningful exercise in film criticism." -- Blogcritics.org
"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
"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" -- MovieMaker
"in the films of four quintessential New Yorkers: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee." -- Choice
"in the films of four quintessential New Yorkers: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee.-- Choice" -- Choice
"Finalist for the 2005 Theater Library Association Award." --
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
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.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Richard Blake offers an approach to understanding the cultural influences of New York's neighbourhoods on the work of four quintessentially New York filmmakers: Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee.
Long Description
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.
Main Description
New York City has appeared in more movies than Michael Caine, and the resulting overfamiliarity to moviegoers poses a problem for critics and filmmakers alike. Audiences often mistake the image of New York skyscrapers and bright lights for the real thing, when in fact the City is a network of clearly defined villages, each with a unique personality. Standard film depictions of New Yorkers as a rush-hour mass of undifferentiated humanity obscure the connections formed between people and places in the City's diverse neighborhoods.
Main Description
New York has appeared in more movies than Michael Caine, and the resulting overfamiliarity to moviegoers poses a problem for critics and filmmakers alike. Audiences often mistake the New York image of skyscrapers and bright lights for the real thing, when in fact the City is a network of clearly defined villages, each with a unique personality. Standard film depictions of New Yorkers as a rush-hour mass of undifferentiated humanity obscure the connections formed between people and places in the City's diverse neighborhoods. Street Smart examines 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 heterogeneous economic and ethnic districts, where people live, work, shop, worship, and go to school, often bear little relation to the image of New York City created by the movies. To these directors, their home city is as tangible as the smell of fried onions in the stairwell of an apartment building, and it is this New York, not the bustling, glittery illusion portrayed in earlier films, that shapes their sensibilities and receives expression in their films. Richard A. Blake shows how the Jewish enclaves on Manhattan's Lower East Side profoundly influence Sidney Lumet's most noted characters as they struggle to form and maintain their identities under challenging circumstances. Both Woody Allen's light comedies and his more serious cinematic fare reflect the director's origins in the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn and the displacement he felt after relocating to Manhattan. Martin Scorsese's upbringing on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan's Little Italy resonates in his gritty portraits of urban modernity. Blake also looks at the films of Spike Lee, whose adolescence in Fort Greene, a socioeconomically diverse Brooklyn neighborhood, exposed him to widely ranging views that add depth to his complicated treatises on power, culture, and race. Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee's individual identities were shaped by their neighborhoods, and in turn, their life experiences have shaped their artistic vision. In Street Smart, Richard A. Blake examines the critical influence of "place" on the films of four of America's most accomplished contemporary filmmakers.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prologuep. ix
Cinema City: All Around the Townp. 1
Lower East Side: Sidney Lumetp. 41
Flatbush: Woody Allenp. 101
Little Italy: Martin Scorsesep. 153
Fort Greene: Spike Leep. 209
Epiloguep. 281
Notesp. 289
Bibliographyp. 303
Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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