5 films that show you what New York is all about

by - 12:20

Travel the world from the comforts of your armchair with several destinations to discover through the art of cinema. This time around, we feature New York, as seen through five international must-see movies.

Current flick: Ghostbusters

More than 30 years since the original hit movie, Ghostbusters has been rebooted in a 2016 remake with an all-female cast. The new queens of US comedy, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, take over from Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis in a film directed by Paul Feig. The movie’s setting remains unchanged, however. Like the two previous installments, the ghost-hunters can be seen chasing spooks in and around Manhattan.

Classic must-see: Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese released his fifth feature film in 1979. Taxi Driver was crowned with a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is famous for Robert De Niro’s cult line, “You talkin’ to me?”.

Forty years down the line, the film portrays a New York of the not-too-distant past, riddled with violence and pornography. Even Times Square had a bad reputation at the time.

An original view: Birdman

This movie tells the story of a has-been actor, played by Michael Keaton, who tries to relaunch his career with a part in a play. The two-and-a-half-hour movie is filmed to look like one long unbroken take and is set in Broadway’s Theater District.

His cinematographic skill earned an Oscar for the film’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, in 2014. This original black comedy that flirts with fantasy also won the Oscar gong for Best Picture.

One for the kids: Home Alone 2: Lost In New York

In 1992 – three years after the success of the first Home Alone movie – Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself on the wrong plane when supposedly going on a family vacation.

In this installment, Kevin ends up in New York City, while the rest of his family are in Florida. Here, he has another brush with the same two burglars from the first movie, who are now on the loose from prison. While pulling his usual tricks to escape their clutches, Kevin takes in some of New York’s most famous sights, such as the Rockefeller Center, the World Trade Center and Central Park.

Historical theme: Once Upon A Time In America

For his final film and last installment in his American-history-themed trilogy (Once Upon A Time In The West and Once Upon A Time … The Revolution), Sergio Leone chose New York as the setting for this story of two friends rising through the ranks of organised crime (Robert De Niro and James Woods), following them from the age of Prohibition through to the 1960s.

The director particularly focuses on the Lower East Side, a district in southeast Manhattan where Martin Scorsese grew up. He even recreated the area’s 1930s ambiance right in the heart of the city. – AFP Relaxnews

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