On one level, this ambitious epic (the original cut was reportedly 4 ½ hours long) attempts to depict the changes that transformed America from the giddy optimism that ended World War II – the extended opening sequence unfolds on the day the war officially ended – to the disillusionment and suspicions of the fifties.
This transition is seen from the perspective of Robert De Niro’s Jimmy Doyle, a saxophonist who plays with big bands, and the woman he loves, singer Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli). With many scenes staged in similar style to those Big Band biopics of the fifties (The Glenn Miller Story, The Benny Goodman Story), the film combines visual panache with naturalistic dialogue to great effect.
Presented in association with the Sydney Film Festival and National Film and Sound Archive
New York, New York
29 May - 10 Jun
Despite its title and setting, New York, New York was filmed entirely in Hollywood. Scorsese noted at the time: “….(it) goes back to the old films I used to see as a kid, which reflected part of New York – but that was a fantasy of New York up on the screen. So, in this picture I tried to fuse… the movies I grew up with as a kid with the reality I experienced myself.”