Arthouse theater Film Forum on Houston Street has brought rare, critically-acclaimed films to New York City since the early 70’s. We talked to the film-obsessed staff and rounded up their favorite NYC movie classics.
“New York City locations don’t get much more tantalizing than those seen in this silent comedy. Bespectacled, job-challenged Harold Lloyd bounds about town””climbing on harrowing rides at Coney Island’s Luna Park, fighting his way onto a crowded subway, driving a cab recklessly to Yankee Stadium, and commandeering a horse-drawn streetcar in a breathless, climactic race.”
“I grew up in the Midwest and subscribed to the Village Voice. I would salivate when I’d see the ads for films playing in New York””especially the Film Forum ads.”
“It’s genius. Very, very tragic and beautiful. It’s reminiscent of Dostoyevsky and without question one of [Allen’s] best films.”
Gabe grew up on the Upper West Side and “came [to Film Forum] quite often as a wee-young lad.” After spending some time screenwriting in LA, he recently returned to the city””and to Film Forum.
Reminiscing about the film””in which Gena Rowlands plays a mafioso’s girlfriend who takes an orphaned Puerto Rican boy on the run””Dee said, “This Hispanic kid and a white Italian woman go through the different white and Hispanic neighborhoods. It’s an interesting way to see the city.”
Dee used to study film in Vermont, where she would get Film Forum’s newsletter.
“It was pretty shaping to my identity,” Marissa says about the Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore ghost-slash-love story. “And it was steamy! Especially watching it as a twelve-year-old girl.”
The screenwriter and actor from Telluride, Colorado, has worked at film festivals over the past few years. She wanted to work at an arthouse theater so she could see movies for free.
“I have this friend with whom I’ve seen at least 1,200 films, and he showed me The Ambulance,” said Bill. The movie is about a comic book artist named Josh who falls in love on the streets of New York City, only to have his love interest collapse in front of him. Josh goes on a quest to find this woman and the ambulance that took her away.
Bill used to work behind the scenes for American drag actor and musician John Epperson’s stage shows, and a former coworker recommended him for the Film Forum gig.
cover image via flickr