Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Nice transfer, unnecessary additions
on September 12, 2010
When seen on WNET in New York on occasion, this was always a special and welcome documentary -- a bold attempt at capturing a broad topic with only limited resources, limited budget, and a tiny crew... but lots of heart and lots of love for the history of the Yiddish Theater in Manhattan. While I can say that the entire documentary has been properly transfered to DVD, the picture quality doesn't seem all that much better than that of the aging film copies. PLUS (and this is nearly unforgivable), Cantor Films (who produced the original documentary), attempts to remove the true artfulness and soul of this quirky and personal documentary by doctoring up the imagery, adding new sources of film and stills to the narrative, and generally trying to "enhance" the product with contemporary additions which only take away from the purity of the original product's vision. This fits into the mediocrity of our time, that a good original work cannot be allowed to stand on its own.
A fitting reissue would simply have allowed viewers the doctored version alongside the undoctored version. I was disappointed with my purchase and now still long to have one clean copy of "The Golden Age of Second Avenue" as filmed and printed. Additionally, there are no special features on the disc suggesting how the documentary was created.