The Brooklyn Film

Essays in the History of Filmmaking

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About the Book

Brooklyn, New York, a borough of New York City, is known for its distinctive vernacular, its communal feel on the fringes of a booming city, and its famous bridge, a gateway to the unlimited opportunities in Manhattan. Of course, Coney Island deserves a mention as it garners its own fame independent of Brooklyn, its parent locale. New York City moviemaking got its start in Brooklyn when Charles E. Chinnock shot his silent film in 1894. Since then, many films have been made, studios opened and stars born in Brooklyn, contributing to its undeniable influence in the film industry.
This work is a collection of essays on the topic of Brooklyn as portrayed in film. It includes a discussion of race relations in films dealing with Brooklyn, the story of Jackie Robinson as shown on film, the changing face of cinematic Brooklyn and some thoughts on a Brooklyn filmgoer’s experience. The combination of Brooklyn and baseball in the films of Paul Auster is examined, as well as the typical portrayal of a Brooklyn native in film.

About the Author(s)

John B. Manbeck, an urban historian, was the official Brooklyn Borough Historian (1993–2001) and now writes a weekly newspaper column, “Historically Speaking.”
Robert Singer is a professor of English and Film Studies at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY. They both live in Brooklyn.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by John B. Manbeck and Robert Singer
Foreword by Pete Hamill
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 263
Bibliographic Info: photos, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1405-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8120-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     v

A Letter from Eli Wallach     ix

Foreword by Pete Hamill     1

Introduction: The Brooklyn Film     7

1 “Who’s a Character? He’s Just a Lovable Lug”    17

2 A Fantasy Straight Out of Brooklyn: From The Gentle People to Out of the Fog     33

3 “What Grows in the Hood?” Projects, People and the Contemporary Brooklyn Film     51

4 Tony, Auggie, and the Mook: Race Relations in Cinematic Brooklyn     71

5 Exploding Multiculturalism in Global Brooklyn: Illegal Moves in The Siege     82

6 Brooklyn Moviegoing: A Short History from a Fan’s Perspective     108

7 “We Don’t Go By Numbers”: Brooklyn and Baseball in the Films of Paul Auster     127

8 A Life Worth Living: The Jackie Robinson Biopic     148

9 The Borough of Their Affection: Brooklyn Boundaries in Flux     159

10 Brooklyn Films: A Select Filmography     175

About the Contributors     241

Index     243

Book Reviews & Awards

“thorough”—Brooklyn Free Press; “a commendable and readable effort”—Brooklyn Papers; “scholarly but fun- and fact-filled”—Daily News; (New York).