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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 5: Scorsese & the City


Martin Scorsese has had a quite a run these past two months, with 11 Oscar nominations (four wins) for his film Hugo and a Golden Globe win for the Best Director category, to name just a few. So let's raise another toast (in the spirit of the Bridesmaids' SAG award presentation) to the man who gave us so much great Lower East Side imagery by screening one of his earliest films, Italianamerican. This 1974 documentary, made between Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and his landmark film Taxi Driver, finds Scorsese interviewing his parents in their Elizabeth Street apartment about their experiences as Sicilian immigrants in New York's Lower East Side.

City of Contrasts, a 1931 collection of moving pictures that strings New York City street life and roof life together in a grand symphonic display, will also be presented. The film is narrated by 1930s Popeye radio show announcer Kelvin Keech.

We are pleased to offer the following films on Tuesday evening, March 6, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

Fifth part in the series

City of Contrasts 
(1931, 28 minutes, 16mm)

Producer and director Irving Browning photographs New York City during the Depression, exploring roof-top luxury as well as street-level reality. The film includes footage of Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Little Italy, and Coney Island. The narration, added later, mitigates the visuals and transforms the film into a "city symphony."


(1974, 26 minutes, 16mm)

This film profiles the experiences of Italian-American immigrants through the eyes and lives of one couple — Catherine and Charlie Scorsese — as interviewed by their son, film director Martin Scorsese. It includes informal footage of the family at the dinner table, reminiscences about the Scorsese family in Sicily and New York, and treasured family snapshots.

City of Contrasts 
and Italianamerican are presented courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

This is a FREE monthly series held at Seward Park Library. Documentary and feature films (both 16mm and DVD) shot on location in lower Manhattan are presented the first Tuesday of every month.

Previously: Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 4

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Les Heritage Film Series

Your blog is very interesting and I am sure many people are interested in seeing the Scorcese films. However, there was no address listed for the Seward Library other than that it is on the lower east side. The address would be helpful for those who wished to attend the films. Many thanks.

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