1. Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Straight off the bat I should probably say that Roman Polanski is a rapist and a piece of shit and I hate him. But now that’s out of the way, Mia Farrow’s outfits (and haircut) are out of this world perfect, the building they live in (The Bramford which is actually The Dakota where Yoko Ono lived or maybe still lives) is beautiful, and I will probably always love anything to do with the occult due to watching ‘The Craft’ too many times as a pre-teen.
2. The Panic in Needle Park (1971). Needle Park is actually Sherman Square on the Upper West Side and if you couldn’t tell from the title, this is a movie about heroin users. Kitty Winn won Best Actress at Caan in 1971 for her role, Al Pacino is all young and cute in his second film appearance ever, and New York is all gross and cool looking, especially the subway! There is just something very aesthetically pleasing to me about a dirty graffitied train, I don’t know what that’s all about.
3. Taxi Driver (1976). I’m sure you’ve seen Taxi Driver and I’m sure you can quote ‘you talkin’ to me’ and all the rest. My favourite parts: Jodie Foster’s red platforms, the long camera shot down the hallway while Travis is trying to convince Cybill Shepherd to go out with him again, and of course all the scenes of driving around New York City at night in the 70s.
4. Annie Hall (1977). Woody Allen is also a jerk (I might need to re-read ‘How to be a Fan of Problematic Things‘ while I write this post) but Diane Keaton is lovely and there are so many shots of New York in the 70s that I can look past that for an hour and a half.
5. Times Square (1980). It’s about two teenage girls who break out of a mental hospital and start a punk band. Tim Curry plays a radio DJ. I don’t know what more to say, I mean if that doesn’t make you want to watch it there’s something wrong with your taste. The soundtrack is crazy good – The Ramones, Lou Reed, Talking Heads, The Cure, Patti Smith etc. The director, Allan Moyle, also directed Pump Up The Volume and Empire Records which are two of my favourite 90s films.
6. Sid and Nancy (1986). The first time I saw Sid and Nancy was in 2002 when I bought a pirated copy of it on VHS from Missing Link Records (back when they were on Flinders Lane) for $10. I remember being scared they wouldn’t sell it to me because it was rated R18+ and I was 15 years old but luckily they didn’t ask for ID. I loved it then and I still love it now. Not all of it is set/filmed in New York, the first two-thirds are in England but once the doomed couple make it to New York you get all sorts of treats like a very young Courtney Love playing with kittens in a club, that scene of Sid and Nancy making out while rubbish (trash) blows up around them, and lots of shots of the famous Chelsea Hotel. Nancy died in room 100 of the Chelsea and apparently Courtney and a bunch of the cast and crew snorted heroin in that room to celebrate the end of shooting the film.