Saturday, 6 June 2009

Made in NYC

One of the charms of the film Wall Street was the way it featured the heartbeat of Manhattan and how exciting life is in the Big Apple. I admit I am a sucker for films and shows based on NYC. Carrie Bradshaw told Miranda in our beloved Sex and the City that she was having a love affair with the city. Who can blame the gal; with it's funky boutiques, wonderful galleries, great restaurants and superb nightlife along with it's vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods - New York may be small but it certainly packs a punch. It also looks great on the eye so it is no surprise that the most famous city in the world has been featured in thousands of films and TV shows. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting was founded in 1966 and this kicked off an explosion of productions made in NYC. There are classic films such as the ones made by Woody Allen and Martin Scorcese and TV shows like Seinfeld and Spin City and I have listed the ones that have made an impact on me.


Sex and the City: The Movie
Last year everyone went agog over the much aniticipated release of the S&TC film. Scenes wee shot at Bryant Park when the quartet attend Fashion Week, Park Avenue where Charlotte resides with Harry and Lilly, Fifth Avenue at Carrie and Big's swish new penthouse, Deklab Avenue in Brooklyn where Miranda lived with Steve, Lower East Side where she moved to after their break up and of course Central Park.

The Devil Wears Prada
This film was one of the most glamorous of recent times and showed the drama of working on one of the glossiest magazines around. It featured areas such as the Lower East Side where our protagonist, Andrea Sachs lived, the Tribeca where she hanged out with her fella and pals and the Upper East Side where boss from hell, Miranda Priestly lived.

Working Girl
Melanie Griffiths stars as Tess McGill in a rags to riches story based in the boardroom. The film is shot in locations such as Staten Island where she lived and Bowling Green where she worked.

You've Got Mail
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reunite to play two star crossed lovers who communicate by email in the Big Apple. This film showed a really romantic look of the city with a 40s vibe that is very care free. Scenes took place primarily on the Upper West Side where both characters lived and also where their rival bookstores were based.

An Affair to Remember
Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant play star crossed lover in this classic film. It will always be synonymous with the Empire State Building where the two lovers were supposed to meet till tragedy hit. An Affair to Remember also inspired the hit film, Sleepless in Seattle.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
One of my favourite movies of all the time. Never mind the dialogue, I just loved watching the scenery and the fashion. This is the film that put the ever so glamorous store Tiffany's on the map. Interesting to find out that while most of the outside shots were filmed in Manhattan, a lot of the inside ones were filmed in Hollywood.

Other films that made an impression are Spike Lee's films such Do The Right Thing, Mo Better Blues and Crooklyn that gave a great insight into Brooklyn. Also Ghost, Desperately Seeking Susan, Confessions of a Shopaholic, It Could Happen to You, 10 Ways to Lose a Guy, Cruel Intentions, Cruel Intentions, What Women Want and As Good As it Gets focused on certain areas in Manhattan.

TV Shows

Gossip Girl
As well as the frolics from the upper classes, Gossip Girl shows off the lushness of the Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue and Central Park where Serena, Blair and co inhabit. However, it gives us an insight into the funkiness of Williamsburg in Brooklyn where all the hipsters such as Vanessa, Dan and Jenny live.

Sex and the City
S&TC creator, Darren Star often said that New York was the fifth character in the show and I don't think he could have put it better. The four women have NYC as their playground and the show concentrates on areas such as the Meatpacking District where Samantha's retro pad is and Upper West Side where Miranda's single ladies apartment is. The Upper East Side is important to the show as that is not only where Charlotte and Carrie have their apartments but it is alsowhere Jimmy Choo, Manola Blahnik and lavish department store, Barneys are based.

Ugly Betty
Often dubbed the TV version of The Devil Wears Prada but Ugly Betty is much more than that. Since it burst onto our scenes two years sgo, Ugly Betty has become a global success and won many prestigious awards. It is hard to believe but the first two seasons of this popular series were filmed in LA. Only the pilot was made in NYC.

Lipstick Jungle
Three women take on NYC juggling high powered careers, families while wearing stilettos. Scenes are filmed in 501 Broadway, Rockland Lake State Park and Nyack Beach State Park.

Ok I admit it, I am cheating a bit here as Friends was filmed on sets in LA and NYC was only used for outside shots of the apartment block that Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey lived in. However Paramount really do a fantastic replica of Manhattan with the fabulous apartments and the cool coffee shop set in Greenwich Village.

Will and Grace
I was not a huge fan of this show and I could not stand Grace but I loved the apartment she shared with Will. It really represented a true Manhattan loft because it was so wide and spacious. Like Friends this was filmed in LA but the exterior shots were all NYC.

Other TV shows that come to mind are Cashmere Mafia, Law and Order and Spin City.

If you are interested in the production of films and TV in the Big Apple then you will love Made in NY which is a series of podcasts that hold walking tours of film and TV locations in NYC. So if you are in NYC and fancy checking out famous shooting scenes then all you need to do is download it onto your iPod and off you go. Whatever you do, don't forget the S&TC tour where you can see the locations from the series. Check out a fantastic review from Vex in the City.

So what are your favourite films and TV shows set in NYC and why?

5 cool comments:

Kwana said...

There are probably more than I can count. I guess my all time fave is Breakfast at Tiffany's. Being a native New Yorker I love most films set in NY and really love it when they are filmed here and I can spot places I've been. Loved Desperately Seeking Susan and even danced at Danceateria where Madonna danced and felt soooo cool as an 80's girl. It's hard to choose.

Slanelle said...

Friends is my fav show ever ;)

Shanti said...

Do you know what, I have still yet to visit the city - can you believe it. I'm trying to book out a trip soon though so that I can see all its splendour with my own eyes. This post has made me even more determined!

Silvie said...

You have Such great taste in movies!
The whole list of movies are basically my favorite movie, especially and affair to remember :)

Ondo Lady said...

Kwana: I LOVE Breakfast at Tiffany's/

Slanelle: When I am down Friends never fails to cheer me up.

Shanti: You need to do NYC, you will love it - book your flight right now!

Silviw: Thank you. I totally love your blog, I really like the slant you take. So original!