Movie Series to Show Films Showcasing New York City's 'Gritty' Past

By Jeanmarie Evelly on July 26, 2013 6:59am 

 Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in John Schlesinger's 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy."
Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in John Schlesinger's 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy."
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Courtesy of Park Circus

QUEENS — Tired of skyrocketing rents and a squeaky-clean Times Square?

New Yorkers longing for the city's grittier past can get their fill at the Museum of the Moving Image next month when it screens more than a dozen films from the late '60s and early '70s that capture the era "in all its glory and despair."

"Fun City: New York in the Movies 1967–75" will kick off Aug. 10, and will screen 19 movies from the city's more chaotic days, including classics like "The Panic in Needle Park," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Serpico" and "Midnight Cowboy."

The films were all made around the tumultuous tenure of former Mayor John V. Lindsay, who established the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting and ushered in a new era of movie-making in New York City by campaigning for more filmmakers to shoot here.

The series was curated by seasoned New York film critic Jim Hoberman, who has written a new monograph for it that will be available for free online.

"Jim Hoberman is a brilliant cultural historian who has always written thoughtfully about the ways that films are artifacts of the times and places in which they are made, and the series Fun City is a great example of this,” David Schwartz, the museum’s chief curator, said in a press release.

On Aug. 16, the museum will present a special screening of the 1972 film "Superfly" featuring a discussion with actress Sheila Frazier, a costume and singing contest.

"Fun City: New York in the Movies 1967–75" screenings will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 10 to Sept. 1 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, 36-01 35th Ave.

Screenings are included in the price of museum admission, $12 for adults, $9 for students and seniors.

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