Monday, April 21, 2008

Come out and pla-ay

I'm in the midst of an accidental film festival of movies set and shot in the gritty New York City of the 1970s that are either about, or prominently feature, the subway. So far that's included:
-The Warriors
-The French Connection
-The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3

Anyone know others? Ridiculously enough, I've never seen Taxi Driver or Mean Streets, so those will probably have to come soon. But any others? (I've already seen Dog Day Afternoon, but that's the same idea. Midnight Cowboy maybe?)

6 comments:

Via Chicago said...

To go along with your theme I think the best bet is DEATH WISH. Gritty, subway featured prominently, and not bad overall, if a little excessive at times.

And can I just say that I absolutely love THE WARRIORS. That movie rules. The entire "Nowhere to Run" sequence, the attack of the Baseball Furies, and the fantastic opening credits (which is probably the best use of 1970s NY subway you're going to get) are all amazing. Plus you get Twin Peaks' Jerry Horne as the villain. What's not to love?

Can you dig it?!

Quinapalus said...

This probably isn't exactly what you had in mind, but I'll just throw it out there anyway: Wild Style, the 1983 movie musical chronicling the sights and sounds of the birth of hip hop in the Bronx-- shot on location in terrifying dive bars, nearly post apocalyptic looking Bronx streets, shitty apartments, and yes, subway car after subway car, some with beautiful graffiti art all along the sides. It's a work of fiction with the feel of documentary, since it stars the actual rappers and graffiti artists of the day, and was clearly shot on a shoe-string budget. It may not sound like your cup of tea, but I promise it's genuinely a great movie, I've never known anyone who saw it and wasn't very entertained. Here's a sample of one of the musical sequences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aP0gFs8ObA

I'll also quickly say that, from a musical perspective, the movie is fascinating for how much of it is referenced or sampled in hip hop songs up until this very day. When you guys finally do see the light and get into hip hop, Wild Style will amaze you with how much it's been the source material for. (Not that this is exactly hip hop, but I'm pretty sure the scene I linked to above even has some snippets used in a Go Team song.)

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Eric said...

I am actually watching Twin Peaks for the first time and just got to the episode where Jerry Horne first appears. It took me a minute to figure out why he looked familiar and then I realized it was the "Warriors come out and pla-ay" guy!
I loved the Warriors. It was so haunting and weird-- lots of great dialogue free scenes (whether it was just them riding the subway, the other gangs all getting suited up to go after the Warriors, or all the great fight scenes). And it's so bizarre and comic-booky-- I mean, a gang of mimes??? WTF?

I've now gotten the Death Wish recommendation twice, so I think that's gonna be one of the next ones I Netflix.

And the Wild Style movie sounds great-- I find the cultural aspects of hip hop more interesting than the musical aspects (at the end of the day, I'll still always enjoy listening to wussy white people music more), so something like that is definitely up my alley.

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