New York, New York (30th Anniversary Edition)
30th Anniversary Edition, Anniversary Edition
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Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese teams with Academy AwardÂ(r) winners* Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro in this splashy, flashy musical spectacle celebrating the glorious days of the Big Band Era in the Big Apple! Jimmy is a joint-jumpin saxophonist on his way to stardom. Francine is a wannabe starlet who dreams of singing in the spotlight. When they meet, sparks flyand when he plays and she sings, they set New York on fire! It's the beginning of a stormy relationship, asthe two struggle to balance their passions for music and each other under the pressures of big-timeshow biz.
The 30th anniversary edition of New York, New York contains all the extras released in the single-disc 2005 version, plus a second disc chock full of special features. The two-part "New York, New York Stories" offers almost an hour of interviews with director Martin Scorsese, cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, and editor Tom Rolf, who give viewers a sense of the urgency that permeated the film's shoot. They don't shy away from critiquing the film, highlighting some of the high and low points on screen and behind the camera. Fans of Robert De Niro may be disappointed that he doesn't appear in the "New York Stories." But Liza Minnelli fans get their fill of the actress in the 22-minute "Liza on New York, New York." A garrulous performer, she is quite charming as she relays stories of her upbringing with vignettes about her work on New York, New York. Though the film has received some criticism for its uneven plot and direction, the crisp cinematography has been applauded, and Kovacs explains how he achieved some of the climactic shots in an easygoing way that's understandable to the layman. As for the audio commentary, it's chatty but doesn't offer much insight. Scorsese talks about the musicals that inspired him to make New York, New York and film critic Carrie Rickey gives her opinion as to why particular scenes are relevant to the picture. --Jae-Ha Kim
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Scorcese is very interested in film history, and this film was his attempt to fuse the past (old-time big screen musicals like 42nd Street and Singin in the Rain) with the 1970s present (gritty, realistic character studies like his own Mean Streets and Taxi Driver), using the artificial old style to comment on the dark new one, and vice-versa. The hopes and dreams of the two main characters are contrasted with their grim reality, and we get a vivid idea of what they're experiencing. Minnelli was a perfect choice--she'd just done Cabaret, which used the same contrast idea to great effect, and our inevitable memories of her mother's movies (particularly A Star Is Born) helped sustain the illusion. De Niro is fine as the brooding, conflicted antihero, and his fake-playing in the musical scenes is very impressive. The big musical numbers and the painful, sometimes violent "book" scenes are a jarring combination. Together, they give us a real feel for the time and place of the story. Is it a complete success? No. But it's worth seeing, anyway.
I love Scorcese, mainly because he's one of the few directors who always take chances. His films don't look like anyone else's--he has his own definite stamp--and Hollywood is one place where individuality should always be encouraged. Let's just celebrate his vision, even here in NEW YORK, NEW YORK. It's not his best film, but it's a fascinating one. Recommended.
DeNiro a special added attraction!!!
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