New York on Film: Statues, Italianamerican, and 80 Blocks

When: Thursday, November 9, 2023, 6:30pm

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Posters for ItalianAmerican, 80 Blocks from Tiffany's, and Statues Hardly Ever Smile on a red background.
Images - Janus Films, Broadway Video, and a still from Statues Hardly Ever Smile

Grab your ticket for our 1970s edition of New York on Film: Decade by Decade featuring three pathbreaking documentaries from that era.  Experimentation and free expression (Statues Hardly Ever Smile), the roots of Martin Scorsese’s quintessential New York style (Italianamerican), and the explosion of Hip Hop and street culture in the South Bronx (80 Blocks from Tiffany’s) are all explored in this program -- both a "poison pen" and a love letter to 1970s NYC.

Introduction by film curator Melissa Lyde, founder and creator of Alfreda's Cinema.

Statues Hardly Ever Smile (Stan Lathan, 1971, 20 min)
With a crew made up of a Who's Who of Black filmmaking legends—directed by Stan Lathan, edited by filmmaker and writer Kathleen Collins, produced by Kent Garrett, and shot by St. Claire Bourne and Leroy Lucas—this short film follows a group of middle school children during a six-week project at the Brooklyn Museum, where they collectively discover and respond to the Egyptian collection. Witness the group’s daily exercises and reflections as they create a theater piece centered on the relationships they developed with the objects and each other.

Italianamerican (Martin Scorsese, 1974, 49 min)
In one of his most personal works, Martin Scorsese sits down with his parents, Catherine and Charles, in their New York apartment for a free-flowing discussion that touches on family history, the immigrant experience, and the meaning of Italian American identity.

80 Blocks From Tiffany’s (Gary Weis, 1979, 67 min)
80 Blocks captures both Hip-Hop culture, music and dance -- and the social conditions that led to its formation. Shot over the course of a couple of weeks in the summer of ’79, it focuses on a NYPD detective from the Bronx Youth Gang Task Force and a community activist. The film was produced by Saturday Night Live (SNL) creator Lorne Michael and directed by SNL director Gary Weis.  It was a big influence on the NYC cult, camp classic The Warriors.

Event Timeline:
6:00 pm - Doors open to Ronay Menschel Hall (Ground Floor); drinks & popcorn available for purchase
6:30 pm - Introduction by film curator Melissa Lyde
6:45 pm - Film program begins
8:30 pm - Program ends
9:00 pm - Museum closes

This screening is part of our year-long series, New York on Film: Decade by Decade, programmed by Jessica Green. The series accompanies the Museum's centennial exhibition, This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture.

    About the speaker:
    Melissa Lyde is from Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder of Alfreda’s Cinema, a long-running immersive Black video-art series and lifestyle, currently working toward opening its own space in Brooklyn. In addition to residencies with The Metrograph, Melissa has curated for BAM, Film Forum, Maysles Cinema, Light Industry, Anthology Film Archives, and many more collaborations with festivals and film collectives at home and abroad. Alfreda's Cinema was recently profiled in Crater Magazine's first issue, highlighting New York's underground film exhibition community. Melissa has written for The Journal of Film and Media Studies: IN FOCUS, Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, BloodVine, and Metrograph's film journal. 

    About the series programmer:
    Jessica Green is an independent film programmer currently programming film, speaker, and performance series for BAM, the Weeksville Heritage Center, and the Museum of the City of New York. Jessica served as the Artistic Director of the Houston Cinema Arts Society from 2019-2022, providing artistic leadership for year-round film programming and the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Houston’s largest film festival. She was the Cinema Director of the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem from 2008-2018. Jessica is also a former founder, owner and Editor-In-Chief of the New York based, independent Hip-Hop magazine Stress (1994-2001), as well as the former Executive Editor of (2000-2005).

    New York on Film: Decade by Decade is the centennial year edition of the Museum's ongoing Moonlight & Movies series.

    Important Event Logistics 

    • Please contact with any questions or ticketing issues.
    • All sales are final; refunds not permitted. Exchanges and credit for future programs only. Programs and dates may be subject to change. 


      Moonlight & Movies is made possible in part by Sophia and Peter J. Volandes.

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