SHIPS IN NOVEMBER, 2021. RESERVE YOUR COPY NOW.
Los Angeles will always be the city of angels and the city of dreams. But New York is the city of mean streets, the sweet smell of success, the summer of sam, the midnight cowboy, the taxi driver, the pickup on south street, and the 25th hour, among so many other classics. New York always wins. It's the Naked City, with eight million stories, and it never, ever sleeps. Moviemaking as an industry began on the East coast of the United States but soon migrated to Southern California where the weather was nicer, the real estate was cheaper, and producers could manufacture almost any fantastic vision they liked. But mentally, spiritually and often geographically, filmmakers never stopped drifting back east, because New York City was always the greatest set of them all. It was real. It felt real, even when it was photographed to evoke a dream or nightmare. When the Avengers assembled, they didn't do it in Los Angeles. When Godzilla finally surfaced in the US, he didn't go to Houston. Geddafuggouddahere.
Film critic, entertainment journalist and biographer Jason Bailey takes viewers on an adrenaline-jacked tour of New York time and space, onscreen and off, in Fun City Cinema: New York and the Movies that Made It. As the title confirms, this is not merely a list of movies that happen to be set in New York, or that used New York for one reason or another. It's about New York City as a birthplace to, and dream prompt for, innumerable classic works. Some were physically produced elsewhere (like the indelible last act of King Kong, all versions), but the vast majority were shot on location. The waxing and waning attraction between Hollywood talent and New York production deals (and soundstages) constitutes a major part of Bailey's story. And he plays close attention to how different New York City mayors (movies stars in their own rights, some of them clowns or antiheroes) played a role in shaping the character of the movies shot during their time in office.
Lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed and laid out, featuring a foreword by film and TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz, Fun City Cinema is a classic work of film scholarship,—a swaggering, ambitious, brilliant, dirty, powerfully visceral experience, like New York itself.