Scorcese's New York, New York: C or D?

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Not a masterpiece perhaps, but not the disaster it's made out to be either. Worth watching for "Happy Endings" alone, probably the most ambitious movie Scorcese attempted (until Gangs of New York; Miramax can hardly be happy contemplating that), definitely the best musical made by any of the Seventies-Amerauteurs pack (weak competition, admittedly). Pity it bombed.

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 06:40 (twenty years ago) link

It's got Casey Kasem!

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 06:42 (twenty years ago) link

Very, very interesting film. I am hideously torn on it. The road to New York New York is paved with good intentions.

Pete (Pete), Thursday, 12 September 2002 08:13 (twenty years ago) link

definitely the best musical made by any of the Seventies-Amerauteurs pack

B-b-but what about POPEYE?!

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 12 September 2002 08:18 (twenty years ago) link

Popeye's second. Really. (like I said weak competition - ever seen At Long Last Love? Didn't Bogdanovich know that song is cursed?)

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 08:52 (twenty years ago) link

Just watch and think 'this is his follow-up to Taxi Driver'!

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 08:57 (twenty years ago) link

Pop-Eye is acres better than New York, New York.

Pete (Pete), Thursday, 12 September 2002 10:24 (twenty years ago) link

A-a-and... what about FINIAN'S RAINBOW?!?! Fred Astaire AND Pet Clarke A-AND Tommy Steele!

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 12 September 2002 10:36 (twenty years ago) link


Can I rest my case.

Pete (Pete), Thursday, 12 September 2002 10:46 (twenty years ago) link

Pick your case up again, Baran.

Robert Greenwald:
Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers (1979)
Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978) (TV)
Sharon: Portrait of a Mistress (1977) (TV)

Does this a "seventies Amerauteur" make??

(although I do like the sound of Lady Truckers)

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 12 September 2002 10:53 (twenty years ago) link

no, though the last two sound like uncanny pre-cursors to Star 80, so there is the Bogdanovich connection.

One From the Heart is Coppola's Amerautuer musical (Finian's is Coppola in studio hack mode; it falls in the death of the musical category, all the big seventies film school grad's musicals were attempts at a rebirth, placings of one's self alongside Vincent Minelli, hence Scorsese trumps all by casting the daughter (excepting Fosse, who in his own category in that his musicals were hits, and the true Amerautuer musical is a career ending/derailing. See also the Amerautuer Western: The Missouri Breaks (which I kind of like), Heaven's Gate, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller). New York, New York is better than Popeye: DeNiro vs. Mork, Liza Minelli vs. Shelly Duvall, far nobler intentions (Popeye was a paycheck for Altman).

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 11:08 (twenty years ago) link

(Can one make a case for 'Ishtar' as Beatty's auteurist homage to the quasi-musical Crosby/Hope 'Road to...' sequence? Nope. Though I like the songs, anyway.)

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 12 September 2002 11:31 (twenty years ago) link

Ha! Warren Beatty + Elaine May + Dustin Hoffman acting qualifies it even if it falls a little late (but I'm counting Everyone Says I Love You so...); Ishtar is better than At Long Last Love. Did William Friedkin ever do a musical? (How much music is in Cruising?)

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 11:42 (twenty years ago) link

Road To El Dorado - now there's a terrible homage to the Road movies.

ALtman may have been taking a paycheck on Pop-eye but that doesn't make it any less interesting part of his body of work. From a medai adaptation point of view it is one of the first in a now long (and not very distinguished line) of cartoon live-action films and Robin Williams performance is both incomprehensible and terrific. Altman isn't trying to recapture some sort of golden age of the musical he is aiming at something altogether different. Doesn't quite succeed but then neither does Scorcese, Coppola or Bogdanoviches homages.

Pete (Pete), Thursday, 12 September 2002 11:52 (twenty years ago) link

I like Popeye - Harry Nilsson's a big part of why. It's definitely in the top-tier of cartoon live-action films (even weaker competition than 70's musicals). It just doesn't have the emotional power that Ny, Ny has (no shock in that Altman's no sentimentalist).

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 12:20 (twenty years ago) link

I'm no senti-mentalist.

Pete (Pete), Thursday, 12 September 2002 12:27 (twenty years ago) link

Kundun & LAst Temptation Of Christ were pretty ambitious too.

Pete (Pete), Thursday, 12 September 2002 12:33 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah, I actually thought of Temptation (although I forgot Kundun) when I said that; what I meant was in terms of scale as well as in terms of artistic risk.

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 12:35 (twenty years ago) link

It used to be a big event when a Scorcese film came out, didn't it?

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 12 September 2002 14:14 (twenty years ago) link

Briefly - Ny, Ny and Casino have killed the two times he's been able to get any momentum going (remember at the time Raging Bull and The King of Comedy - coming after NY, NY bombing - made it almost impossible for him to get work).

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 12 September 2002 14:19 (twenty years ago) link

It used to be a big event when a Scorcese film came out, didn't it?

Used to be? I've been wringing my hands over "Gangs Of New York" for about 4 years now. Okay, I'm lying.

Mandee, Thursday, 12 September 2002 16:17 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
nine years pass...

Saw tonight, maybe fourth time in 37 years, in beautiful 35mm print with those soft Laszlo Kovacs images. I counted only two scenes shot outdoors that weren't brief interstitials.

Definitely Scorses's most 'artificial', studio-bound movie til Hugo (eccch). And def in his top 10, de Niro's top 10 performances too, and Liza is quite affecting in the dramatic scenes, and Judylike in the big numbers.

Also, Clarence Clemons on TRUMPET (looked like he was miming, not sure).

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:52 (eight years ago) link

I like it a lot

Amerauteur is a hideous coinage btw, also Marty should do a Liza with a Z-style song about his surname

post-nodern music player (wins), Thursday, 20 March 2014 08:00 (eight years ago) link

six months pass...

from the Reverse Shot Scorsesefest:

Like (Jimmy, Francine) ends up choosing music over marriage. Unlike him, she was forced to choose; his love was too commanding, too imperious, and too restrictive to let her flourish as a singer. Jimmy, on the other hand, could presumably have had creative freedom, or at least romantic happiness, like the radiant young couple he watched dancing silently under a streetlight on the night of V-J Day.

Why does he make himself choose? One possibility is that he is a stand-in for Scorsese, who, on top of his affair with Minnelli, was sliding at the time of the film’s production into a cocaine habit, recovering from the dissolution of his first marriage, and already feeling his second start coming apart at the seams. At one point, he was alleged to have kept over a hundred extras waiting while he stayed in his trailer on the phone with his therapist. Aspects of De Niro’s personal life surely made their way into the character, too. The pair once joked that they couldn’t finish the script until they knew how their current relationships—De Niro’s first wife Diahnne Abbott has a lengthy cameo in New York, New York as a singer at the fictional Harlem Club—would turn out. (In the end, perhaps not coincidentally, large chunks of Jimmy and Francine’s exchanges were improvised.)

Another possibility is that there is something in the very idea of marriage from which Jimmy recoils. Marriage, he realizes, is not a major chord—a total conflation of life and art—but a confession that some things in life are more important than art. What he chafes against is the knowledge that Francine, as his wife, has the right to make claims on him that take precedence over any his instrument might make. For Jimmy, who thinks and speaks in a language of absolutes, this is impossible. If love and art can’t be brought into harmony with each other, he decides, then one has to be eliminated; a choice has to be made. It’s worth wondering, since the protagonists of certain musicals seem to share Jimmy’s dream of establishing this perfect balance, whether the musical, too, is somewhat allergic to the idea of marriage as a sustained habit of life rather than as a grand romantic finale. What would An American in Paris have looked like if Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron had been married midway through the movie, instead of—implicitly, symbolically—at the end?

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 1 October 2014 21:06 (eight years ago) link

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