I’ve had a lot of fun the last week working my way through this list from Vulture. While I agree with a lot of it (Shadows, The Naked City, The Women, Marty, The Squid and the Wale, Metropolitan, Rear Window, Do The Right Thing, Annie Hall, I could go on and on), I’m more excited by the films I haven’t seen (The Cool World, News from Home, New Jack City, and more). It’s also been great group text fodder – my friends and I discussing what films we feel were left out (The Pope of Greenwich Village, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Husbands, Party Girl). Check out the full list here.
What makes a great New York City movie? Not just a movie set in New York — there are plenty of those. We’re talking about a great New York City movie that transcends establishing shots and dodgy accents to immortalize something distinct about this place. The anxious pace of a weekday commute, the philharmonic overlapping of sidewalk talk, the sweaty jockeying for position on any square foot. Great New York City movies find beauty in the rot of Times Square and ugliness in the penthouses of Central Park West. Many reflect the perilous reality of living in Brooklyn today and the Bronx yesterday; others, the urbane fantasy. The best do both. In assembling this list of the greatest New York movies, we laid down a few ground rules: in the interest of fairness, a director could only be represented twice on the list; any selection had to take place mostly in New York City (even if it wasn’t shot in New York City); and, most important, it had to feel deliberately set in one of the five boroughs. Not just in any big city, but here.
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