May 31, 2007

Wonderful Town

If you are in New York right now and you love the movies, run, don't walk, to Grand Central Station and check out the exhibition "Celluloid Skyline" in Vanderbilt Hall. It is a wonderful exploration of New York in the movies, with very serious information, wonderful stills, amazing establishing shots of New York, ancient films of life in the city and most magnificently, 4 astounding scenic backdrops of New York landscapes, including one of the U.N. commissioned by Alfred Hitchcock and another one of the original Penn station (how could they have torn it down?). If I had money and space to burn, I'd buy them paintings and put them up in my huge mansion. There are also fascinating pictures of the New York that was recreated painstakingly in the Hollywood backlots and a reminder that before anybody moved to Hollywood, movie history started right here in NY.
These are two of the things I love most, New York and the movies, so for me this show was like nirvana. And the fact that it is at the marvel that is Grand Central Station makes it even better. For as you leave the show, you realize you live in the city that is the stuff of movies and it feels fabulous.
The show reiminds us that this is the most cinematic city ever (followed closely by San Francisco). Because of the nature of our landscape and our energy, New York is as much a star in the movies that take place in it, than the actors themselves. And here is a small list of gems where this town shines onscreen:
Sweet Smell of Success
French Connection
Dog Day Afternoon
Taxi Driver
Midnight Cowboy
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Annie Hall
Rosemary's Baby
West Side Story
The Apartment
Panic in Needle Park
...and so many other beauties...

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