You Have to See This! NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell (2007)

“New York wasn’t burning. It was burnt!”

Director Henry Corra’s exploration of what New York was in 1977 is quite fantastic and a surprisingly rare chronicle of the political and economic turmoil that ironically bred timeless art and music. As a born and bred Bronxite, 1977 is a mythical year, and a period of the decade that I’ve heard about very often from elder family members. In particular, the night of the infamous black out of New York, my mom and uncle were stuck in the edge of downtown Manhattan and had to brave their way home during the mass looting and rioting. “NY77” garners a very unique tone that balances out the inherent importance of the year, the depressing living conditions of the city, and the obvious fun that was had by most, who managed to endure poverty with laughs and creativity.

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In the Street (1948)

Screen capture from the 1948 "In the Street"

Screen capture from the 1948 “In the Street”

When “In the Street” was first screened in 1948, it was unusual in several ways: it was a silent film created two decades after Hollywood jettisoned the silent format for talkies, it was a view of New York’s Spanish Harlem at a time when mainstream movies ignored the growing urban Hispanic population, and it offered an unprecedented view of daily life without the benefit of a preconceived screenplay.

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