Minority Opinion

Lumet was not alone in this conviction, but his was a minority opinion. During the 1940s and 1950s Hollywood struggled to adjust to television. Although the studios engineered corporate realignments with the infant industry for their own profit and leased out their soundstages and editing rooms for television production, they tried to recapture their own audience by producing ever more spectacular wide-screen, Technicolor blockbusters.10 Movies are better than ever was the slogan that suggested...

Nation in Transition

In the opening decade of the twentieth century, the assumption of the moral superiority of rural areas and small towns was not limited to the premier moviemakers. The belief in agrarian utopianism has been constant in American culture since the seventeenth century, when the first settlers left what they perceived as the tired, corrupt cities of northern Europe to search for a new Eden in the unspoiled wilderness of North America.26 The concept of Jeffersonian democracy was built on the...

Parisian Spaceship

The conflation of a phantom New York with the real thing is perhaps most starkly expressed by the French philosopher and social critic Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929). He serves quite well the role of the legendary visitor from outer space who offers an alien's perspective of this strange territory. Following a long line of French intellectuals that reaches back to Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 1778) and Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 1859), Baudrillard finds America a fascinating topic for reflection....

View from the Footbridge

Jean's description of one walking tour in particular brought me back through the decades as though I had never left home. It begins at the old Brooklyn Staten Island ferry slip, now a recreational pier at the foot of Sixty-ninth Street, turns left, and goes up a short hill along tree-lined Shore Road toward Fort Hamilton. On the right are three baseball diamonds and a playground. On the left are Marist High School and several private houses perched on rocky bluffs overlooking the harbor. I see...

All Around the Town

Common wisdom, an articulation of the obvious, may not be all it's cracked up to be. One might presume, for example, that a fish would be the world's greatest expert on water, but Marshall McLuhan, that highly perceptive but enigmatic media theorist of the 1960s, challenged this common belief. Instead, he thought that a fish would be the worst possible source of information on the topic.1 The fish lacks perspective. As far as the fish is concerned, water is simply there, a part of its natural...

An Odd Kind of Conservative

Lee's consistent message of self-reliance may strike one as surprisingly conservative. Lee believes that with hard work and self-respect, African Americans can succeed, and in fact, many do. The determining factor comes from the community. Family support and reliable friends provide the key to success, but one seldom, if ever, sees a social worker or a welfare check solving someone's personal problems in a Spike Lee film. Success, however, poses additional problems for many of Spike Lee's black...

Angry

In 1956 all the pieces were in place for the by-now-veteran television director Sidney Lumet to join the parade to film, but without leaving New York. Like Marty, 12 Angry Men, Lumet's first film, was a product of television. Written by Reginald Rose, also a New Yorker, and directed by Franklin Schaffner, it originally appeared on Studio One on CBS in 1954. It drew the attention of Hollywood insider Henry Fonda, who decided to coproduce it as a feature film with Rose. He had been impressed with...

Back to Atlanta

Spike Lee's scrutiny of the black community takes an autobiographical twist when he re-creates his experience at Morehouse College for his next film, School Daze (1988). It is not surprising to speculate that his sharp observations of student life may be influenced by his self-image as a sophisticated New Yorker on a campus in the South and among students from other parts of the country, some of which are undeniably rural. In the film one of his characters asserts his authority over another by...

Cinema City

Allen, Robert C., and Douglas Gomery. Film History Theory and Practice. New York McGraw-Hill, 1985. Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida Reflections on Photography. Translated by Richard Howard. New York Hill and Wang, 1981. Baudrillard, Jean. America. Translated by Chris Turner. London Verso, 1988. Blake, Richard A. Afterimage The Indelible Catholic Imagination of Six American Filmmakers. Chicago Loyola, 2000. Bowser, Eileen. The Transformation of Cinema 1907 1918. Berkeley University of California,...

Comic Turns

The patterns of isolation within a group appear consistently, even as Scorsese varies the texture of his films. In his two often overlooked New York comedies, Scorsese shows his protagonists as loners, yet members of a larger community trying to break through the boundaries to another psychological neighborhood and ultimately failing. In The King of Comedy (1982) and After Hours (1985) he explores the comic dimensions of a protagonist's trying to become something other than the creature of his...

Conclusion

A director with over forty films to his credit does not invite simple generalizations that neatly explain each of his works. The films cited provide a reasonable sampling of Sidney Lumet's ideas and, it is hoped, provide one more critical tool for understanding the artist. I hope to suggest that awareness of his New York roots can help scholars and fans alike gain a greater awareness of the unique character of much of his contribution and a greater appreciation of the consistency of his values...

Dog Day Afternoon

In 1975 Sidney Lumet took up the question of outsider status again, but this time the issue was not so much Jewish identity but sexual orientation. So what In the film, the hero gradually emerges as a self-aware gay man, but as a live-and-let-live New Yorker, Lumet gives the fact little weight in shaping the audience's reaction to the character. Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) is about much more than being gay. In fact, his homosexuality becomes apparent only well into the story, when his likable...

Filmography

Curse of the Jade Scorpion, The (2001) Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) New York Stories (1989) (segment Oedipus Wrecks) Another Woman (1988) September (1987) Radio Days (1987) Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Purple Rose of Cairo, The (1985) Broadway Danny Rose (1984) Zelig (1983) Manhattan (1979) Interiors (1978) Annie Hall (1977) Love and Death (1975) Sleeper (1973) Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) Play It Again, Sam (1972) Bananas (1971) Take the...

Fort Greene Spike

Programming with School Daze. In The Films of Spike Lee, 47-55. Breskin, David. Inner Views Filmmakers in Conversation. New York Da Capo, 1997. Emery, Robert. The Directors Take One. New York TV Books, 1999. Johnson, Charles. One Meaning of Mo' Better Blues. In Films of Spike Lee, 117-24. Lee, Spike. The Films of Spike Lee Five for Five. New York Stewart, Thabori and Chang, 1991. -. Spike Lee Interviews. Edited by Cynthia Fuchs. Jackson University -. Spike Lee's Gotta Have...

From Documentary to Cartoon

In the earliest days, before, say, 1900, when the movies were still considered a miracle of technology, people went to the movies for the thrill of seeing the gadget in operation. They would turn the crank on one of Edison's peep-show machines or sit on benches in a darkened room to see flickering images projected on a sheet. Before long the novelty of moving pictures wore off. At first, audiences especially enjoyed seeing familiar sights twitching on the screen, even though they might have...

Home Sweet and Sour Home

The myth provides a weirdly satisfying sense of self-identity, even if it strays from the truth a bit. New Yorkers know that, even if they won't admit it. Those living in the tough neighborhoods of New York surely harbor few illusions about the reality of violence, corruption, and degradation in their hometown. Even people in comfortable middle-class areas read the Daily News and the New York Post, tabloid papers that leave no local stone unturned if there is any hope of finding something slimy...

Little Italy Martin Scorsese

Afterimage The Indelible Catholic Imagination of Six American Filmmakers. Chicago Loyola, 2000. Bliss, Michael. The Word Made Flesh Catholicism and Conflict in the Films of Martin Scorsese. Lanham, Md. Scarecrow Press, 1995. Corliss, Richard. Gangs of New York. Time, December 22, 2002. Dougan, Andy. Martin Scorsese Close Up The Making of His Movies. New York Thunder's Mouth, 1998. Kelly, Mary Pat. Martin Scorsese A Journey. New York Thunder's Mouth, 1991. Lourdeaux, Lee. Irish...

Lower East Side Sidney Lumet

Tube of Plenty The Evolution of American Television. New York Oxford University Press, 1975. Bowles, Stephen E. Sidney Lumet A Guide to References and Resources. New York Hall, 1979. Carter, Steven R. Hansberry's Drama Commitment and Complexity. Urbana University of Illinois Press, 1991. Cook, David. A History of the Narrative Film. New York Norton, 2004. Cunningham, Frank R. Sidney Lumet Film and Literary Vision. 2nd ed. Lexington University Press of Kentucky, 2001. Desser,...

Moving On

Despite his mediocre grades in high school, Spike Lee was admitted to Morehouse College in Atlanta. If his academic performance in high school was less than stellar, he was, after all, a third-generation legacy, and he had no trouble gaining admission. During his mother's illness, the family experienced some financial stress, and his grandmother, Zimmie Jackson Shelton, helped out with tuition. In 1978, the year after his mother's death, Bill Lee married Susan Kaplan. Despite their growing...

Neighboring Villages

During Martin Scorsese's childhood, Elizabeth Street marked the eastern extremity of Italian Manhattan. Despite clear delineations of Lower East Side neighborhoods on tourist maps, the ethnic mix was always fluid. The shifting boundaries brought a kind of neighborhood xenophobia. The next street over was the Bowery, known to outsiders for its infamous skid row, but where the remnants of the most recent arrivals of the Irish community settled as Little Italy expanded in the earlier decades of...

New York California

In the period of transition from documentaries of street scenes to studio-shot story films, the reconstruction of the urban landscape took place in New York studios and was executed by artists who actually lived there. They were re-creating an artificial, symbolic universe on the set, but the congeries of sights, sounds, smells, and characters that underlay the symbols had to be addressed each morning on their way to work. Their walk to the factory provided both an artistic inspiration and a...

No Business Like Show Business

In Bullets over Broadway (1994), one of the mature comedies, Allen explores at some depth the tension between his roles as successful Manhattan artist, which he feels makes him essentially an impostor, and the authentic person from Brooklyn who happens to have had a number of roles forced upon him. David Shayne (John Cusack), the main character, expresses this conflict when he continually asks the women in his life if they love him as an artist or as a man. Allen does not appear as an actor in...

Notes

Thomas Schatz, in The Genius of the System Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era (New York Pantheon, 1988), 5, writes the obituary of auteur criticism in the strongest terms Auteurism itself would not be worth bothering with if it hadn't been so influential, effectively stalling film history and criticism in a prolonged state of adolescent romanticism. 1. Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast (New York Harcourt Brace, 1969), 22. 2. Thomas Wolfe, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn, in The Complete Short...

On the Other Side of the World

Finally, two films set far from New York provide some indication of the extent to which Scorsese brings Little Italy with him, no matter where he locates his stories. In The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), another collaboration with Paul Schrader, Scorsese develops the novel of Nikos Kazantzakis along characteristic lines. Jesus (Willem Dafoe) feels himself called to a mission greater than that of a carpenter in a tight-knit Jewish community under Roman occupation. Through his prayer in the...

Other Examples

The Lower East Side has left its mark on virtually all of Lumet's work. The sense of ethnic community as a beleaguered minority preserving its own mores provides an overarching context. At the same time, an individual within that community struggles to achieve a personal identity within the group. The character cannot have solidarity and individuality at the same time. This is the typical Lumet conflict. It passes beyond the police department and criminal justice system to provide a portrait of...

Prologue

Over a week had passed since the collapse of the World Trade Center. The afternoon of September 11, I managed to contact a cousin who lives in our old neighborhood in Brooklyn but works near Ground Zero. (I'll call her Jean, even though it isn't her name.) She was safe. In fact, while running a bit late that morning, she heard a confused news bulletin on the radio about a fire in the area and further postponed her departure to avoid the possible inconvenience of a subway delay. Within minutes...

Q A

In Q & A Lumet returns to the topic of police corruption. As was the case in the earlier two police films, the department provides a concrete setting for the much broader questions of the survival of the individual within the tight-knit urban group and the survival of the group itself, which is threatened by outside forces challenging its long-held traditions. In the first two films, the corruption arose from money and concurrently from the power to control its flow. Ethnic issues lurked in...

Sidney Lumet

I was born in Philadelphia and had the good sense to leave when I was four, Sidney Lumet once said in a television interview.1 How New York Brash, arrogant, caustic, and totally oblivious about how his remark would play in the vast wilderness beyond the Hudson Despite his immigrant status, Lumet is the quintessential New York director, both in his own estimation and in the minds of his critics and biographers. He sets his films in the City with the native's unfailing sense of locale. He knows...

Small Screen Big Opportunities

This period in television, for all its crudeness in staging, has maintained the reputation as television's Golden Age, and deservedly so. Even discounting the inevitable fits of nostalgia we academics suffer as we look back from our present plastic age of MTV, formulaic sitcoms, and moronic reality shows, the Golden Age of the Truman-Eisenhower era had more than glitter. In large part, social factors influenced the product. In the early days, television sets were quite expensive. It was an...

Spike

Shelton Jackson Lee took his own sweet time to get to the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, left it for both high school and college, and eventually moved over to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but his childhood neighborhood has left its mark on the artist and the films. In the summer of 2004, he still maintains his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule, on DeKalb Avenue and has been active in trying to turn a vacant lot into a Little League baseball field in the neighborhood, despite the...

Still Other Avenues

Tensions between competing groups and between the individual and the group have appeared in a seemingly endless variety through many, if not all, of Scorsese's films. In New York, New York (1977) he places his romantic couple in incompatible artistic worlds. Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) is a successful band vocalist who rises to fame as a movie star. Jimmy Doyle (Robert DeNiro) is a jazz saxophonist whose improvisa-tional style and volatile temperament clash with Francine's more mainline...

Street Smart

THE NEW YORK OF LUMET, ALLEN, SCORSESE, AND LEE Publication of this volume was made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Copyright 2005 by The University Press of Kentucky Scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth, serving Bellarmine University, Berea College, Centre College of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, The Filson Historical Society, Georgetown College, Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray...

The Cultural Anthropologist

Manhattan provides another take on the struggles of displacement, but with a reverse-angle perspective. In Annie Hall Allen makes Alvy Singer the center of his attention. He looks at the displaced Brooklyn boy trying to find his way as he moves from the homeland toward wider horizons, first of New York and then beyond. Transitions do not come easily to him, and after several attempts at forming lasting relationships, he ends up alone with the memories of his failures or more accurately, his...

The Death of Brooklyn

People living during Allen's childhood could surely remember, if only vaguely, the day in 1898 when Brooklyn ceased being an independent city and became part of Greater New York. Although always much larger in population than Manhattan, because of accident and zoning, it was destined to become a bedroom community the biggest bedroom community in the nation.2 The sign on the Brooklyn side of the Verazzano Bridge puts it well Welcome to the fourth largest city in America. Although skyscrapers...

The Others

Looking out from a his own vantage point, Spike Lee sees the other groups in the City with keen artistic insight that can at times cross the boundaries into caricature. The working-class Italian Americans who appear in Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, and Summer of Sam seethe with rage and bigotry. They stand one step away from mindless mob violence, especially when moolies are involved. Mo and Josh Flatbush, the obviously Jewish owners of the jazz club in Mo'Better Blues, embody stereotypical...

The Phantom City

New York has appeared in more movies than Michael Caine, and as a result of overfamiliarity, it poses a problem for critical natives and visi tors alike. New Yorkers, both artists and audiences, take the atmospheres for granted, as fish do water. Aside from those eight million people who may be living there at any given time, everyone else drops in on a tourist visa from someplace else. In fact, even those who have never visited the Big Apple at all feel a certain sense of awareness of the city...

Traces of Fort Greene

Fort Greene clearly left its mark on these early films, to be sure, but it remains a cultural lens for the later films as well. Living in a largely white neighborhood as a child gave Lee the sense of being an outsider on the basis of race alone. His family was, after all, just as solidly middle-class and respectable as any of his Jewish and Italian neighbors in Cobble Hill, but even as a child, he could not escape the fact that because he was black, he was somehow different at least different...

Woody Allen

Allan Stewart K nigsberg drew his initial breath of Brooklyn air on the first day of December in 1935- A social scientist would look at his birth certificate and dump him into the same demographic caldron as Sidney Lumet, born a few miles away into another Jewish family a mere eleven years earlier. A film critic would look at their films and conclude that they had been born on separate planets. Any native New Yorker, comparing biographical notes on the two artists, would immediately side with...

Crossing the East River

If Woody Allen has negative recollections of Brooklyn, what was this Manhattan that the adult remembers from his childhood years This much can be said with some confidence It certainly stood several paces from reality. Lax calls Allan Konigsberg's imaginary re-creation of New York simply the wonderland across the river. Allen recalls his first trip to Times Square with his father when he was six. He was captivated by the astounding concentration of movie houses showing first-run films, although...

Back to Manhattan

With Gangs of New York (2002) Scorsese returns to his geographic roots in Lower Manhattan, but at more than a century's distance from his own personal experience. His gangs are not Sicilians facing the dilemma of assimilation or annihilation, but the Irish who are trying to fight their way into mainstream America. The apparent adversary in this case is not the police and federal agents but the culture of Nativist Americans, the descendants of veterans of the Wars of Independence fought by their...

The Pawnbroker

Sidney Lumet's preoccupation with ethnic identities within New York receives its most poignant treatment in The Pawnbroker (1965). In 12 Angry Men he approached the topic as an outside observer, examining the issue from the perspective of the anonymous majority culture as the jurors unmask and confront bias in their own white male peer group. He shows us the representative of a minority, the defendant, only in passing, and thus turns our attention away from the perspective of the one whose...

Beachhead in Manhattan

Woody Allen's visual appearance as Alvy Singer in Annie Hall (1977) indicates a remarkable shift in his screen character and in his sensibility of displacement. In the opening shot, he appears against a plain backdrop, speaking directly into the camera, dressed in a nicely tailored tweed jacket and polo shirt buttoned to the top. His hair is stylishly long, for the fashion of the day, but neatly combed. The clownish look, with the wildly disheveled mane, oddball costumes, and dopey facial...

Bed Stuy The Town Next Door

Walking east from Fort Greene Park along DeKalb Avenue some twenty-two short blocks and eight long ones, past the main campus of Pratt Institute, to Stuyvesant Avenue, and then five blocks south to Quincy Street brings one to Bedford-Stuyvesant, the setting of Do The Right Thing (1989), Spike Lee's most widely acclaimed film. The two locations are scarcely two miles distant, but they represent different universes. Fort Greene boasts a strong artistic community, cultural life, and growing...

Serpico and Prince of the City

The justice system fascinates Sidney Lumet, not especially for its effect on criminals as much as for its impact on those who are part of it. This world of police and prosecutors, Feds and felons, provides a perfect setting for Lumet to explore the complex, ambiguous relationships between the individual and the small, tight social system that forms his own personal community and the larger universe that threatens the survival of both the smaller, self-contained world and the individual....

Back to Fort Greene

Scarcely a year after the commercial and critical success of Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee returned to familiar territory with Mo' Better Blues (1990). After opening his lens to embrace the tangled moral and interracial issues that enveloped Sal and Mookie, in his next film, Lee narrowed his focus to the world of a small group of African American artists trying to make their way through the jazz clubs of downtown Brooklyn to the big time. Lee admits to trying to create an accurate picture of...

Comedy of Displacement

Those two-way subway rides between Brooklyn and Manhattan of young Allan Konigsberg, tourist and movie fan, I would submit, provide yet one more nuance to a critical understanding of the mature Woody Allen, resident and filmmaker. Most of his critics have agreed for years that his central comic figure, recycled in many guises, is the insecure, neurotic outsider who feels misplaced, misunderstood, and misused in contemporary society. Because displacements of various kinds underlie almost all...

Back in Time to Brooklyn

Several of Spike Lee's later films reiterate his social and political commentary of his early films, but none with a softer touch than Crooklyn (1994). In this film, he returns to the Brooklyn of his childhood, recreated with the rosy glow of nostalgia through the warm earth tones of Ernest Dickerson's cinematography. The heroine is ten-year-old Troy Carmichael (Zelda Harris), a spunky little girl growing up with both parents and four brothers in a lovely brownstone on Arlington Place in...

From Strivers Row to Bensonhurst

Spike Lee's departure from his political agenda was short-lived. His next film, Jungle Fever (1991), is arguably the most political of all his films. He returns to the conflict between African Americans and Italian Americans as two hostile communities and makes the mixture even more volatile by adding the ingredient of interracial sex, a theme he merely hinted at in Sal's quasi-flirtation with Jade in Do the Right Thing. He dedicates the film to the memory of sixteen-year-old Yusuf Hawkins, a...

Establishing Shot through a Wide Angle Lens

Putting the number of New York movies in the hundreds may be an overly conservative estimate. Certainly, if television programs were included, the list would reach many thousands. With so many different takes by diverse filmmakers, the stunning variety of images is overwhelming, each with its own meaning. Park Avenue and Wall Street suggest one thing Harlem and the Lower East Side the opposite Schubert Alley and Broadway something entirely different. Other cities have similarly achieved iconic...

Mean Streets of Home

After what he considered the artistic disaster of Boxcar Bertha (1972), the story of union organizers in Arkansas during the Depression, Martin Scorsese was ready to come home. The film served its purpose, however. For producer Roger Corman, it contained the requisite number of nude scenes and episodes of gratuitous violence, and despite what the reviewers said about it, it made a modest profit for Allied International Pictures. According to these criteria, it was a success. For Scorsese, it...

Capitalism of Social Responsibility

Spike Lee's dedication to capitalism and individual self-reliance comes with a strong sense of social responsibility. As one who controls the purse strings, he used his influence to open doors for other African Americans trying to break into the film industry. Like Francis Coppola, he has not shied away from including his family in his film projects. His father, Bill, has done several musical scores, and his sister Joie appears regularly on screen. Through his photography, David Lee, Spike's...

The Village Church

As a rather frail youngster whose health limited his activities, young Martin Scorsese found the parochial school and Old St. Patrick's Cathedral an improbably congenial environment after two years of public school in Queens. Neither of his parents were particularly religious. Their sending their son to the Catholic school did not reveal any particular act of devotion on their part, but it was rather the standard practice for even nominally Catholic families in New York at the time. The...

Epilogue

For a native New Yorker, returning to the homeland after a lengthy absence provokes many conflicting responses. Much depends on the point of entry. A driver coming across the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey, to connect to the West Side Highway or the Cross-Bronx Expressway can look out the right window of the car, and depending on weather conditions, can see the skyline of Manhattan to the south. The last time I made this trip, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were...

Two Early Comedies

With Bananas (1971) and Sleeper (1973) Woody Allen began to establish himself as a major filmmaker. In these he turned to original material spun out of his own mind, while the earlier ventures were collaborative and derivative.17 He was a writer for What's New, Pussycat, directed by Clive Donner in 1965. He wrote the script and directed the English version of What's Up, Tiger Lily (1966), a film originally shot as a spy thriller in Japanese and dubbed with highly improbable Allenesque dialogue...

You Can Go Home Again

Radio Days (1987) represents a return to Brooklyn, even though it is set in Rockaway Beach, which is technically part of Queens, as are all the islands on the south side of Jamaica Bay, including Breezy Point and Fort Tilden, which are east of the Flatbush Avenue Bridge and thus geographically off the coast of Brooklyn. Connected to the rest of the City by the bridge and the IND subway, it is a small town even more isolated than most neighborhoods in Brooklyn Queens. In the film Uncle Abe (Josh...

Film Painting or Window

Jean Baudrillard's conception of New York as a entity perceived through previous experience of movies raises in concrete form the classical dilemma of film criticism. Stated in its most theoretical terms When viewers look at a screen do they contemplate the film itself or the objects reproduced by the film 7 In other words, is the film an object viewed in itself, or is it the medium through which other objects are viewed As Baudrillard describes his perception of New York, he easily passes from...

Mean Streets of Brooklyn and Queens

Over the years since Mean Streets, Scorsese developed a reputation for his unflinching, or as he would call it, his anthropological, look at the rougher side of New York City life in films like Taxi Driver 1975 , New York, New York 1977 , Raging Bull 1980 , The King ofComedy 1982 , After Hours 1985 , and 'Life Lessons, a segment in the trilogy New York Stories 1988 , yet he never really returned to the mob until GoodFellas 1990 , which is set mainly in Brooklyn and Queens. Five years later, in...

The Journey of Malcolm X

Spike Lee was interested in Malcolm X from the time he read the Autobiography of Malcolm X while he was still at John Dewey High School. He was not alone. Various studios and producers had toyed with the idea of making a film out of the book almost from the time it was first published by Grove Press in 1965. Sidney Lumet, the legendary Lion of the Left, had worked on a version written by David Mamet, and Norman Jewison, whose credentials for this type of project had been established by In the...

Jewish New York

We get ahead of ourselves in the narrative and must fill in a few details. When Baruch Lumet moved his family from Philadelphia to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, he brought them into an aggressively Jewish world. In the late 1920s, this region could be characterized as an urban melting pot before the pot did much melting. Recent immigrants of varied tongue and hue settled into low-cost housing, near their low-paying jobs, and at least for a time stayed close to their familiar transplanted...

Flatbush Woody Allen

Four Films of Woody Allen. New York Random House, 1982. -. Three Films of Woody Allen. New York Vintage, 1987. Bailey, Peter J. The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen. Lexington University Press of Kentucky, 2001. Blake, Richard A. Woody Allen Profane and Sacred. Lanham, Md. Scarecrow Press, 1995. Bloom, Alexander. Prodigal Sons The New York Intellectuals and Their World. New York Oxford University Press, 1986. Desser, David, and Lester D. Friedman. American Jewish Filmmakers...

The Sicilian Factor

The local culture reinforced his genetic heritage. His grandfather, Francesco Scorsese, came from Polizzi Generosa, in the region around Palermo, the major metropolis of the island.1 After his mother's death, Francesco hired on as a live-in farmhand, and at the age of nineteen he fulfilled his dream by migrating to America. He settled on Elizabeth Street with his wife, Teresa, also from Polizzi Generosa. He supported his family as a laborer in the shipyards during World War I and later as a...