Tuesday 11 May 2010

Cine-Cities: New York and London

I was challenged by the venerable John Gray over at Going Gently to name five films that best showcase London and New York. I’m not sure that these are the films that "best" showcase the cities but they’re the ones that came to mind.

New York

1. Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
Audrey and George get up to all kinds of things that you could never fake in Toronto.

2. Mean Streets (1973)
Scorsese creates a vibrant portrait of Little Italy …

3. The Age of Innocence (1993)
… and, twenty years on, puts Wharton’s Old New York on the screen with equal vividness.

4. Hannah and her Sisters (1986)
One day I intend to visit the bookshop where Michael Caine buys some e e cummings for Barbara Hershey.

5. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
A disreputable choice, but I was still young enough when this came out to find Master Culkin’s adventures in the Big Apple very exciting indeed.


1. Wonderland (1999)
At once gritty and romantic, Michael Winterbottom’s superb portrait of London loneliness and London connection.

2. Secrets and Lies (1996)
Almost any Mike Leigh film will do, of course, but this is the one I love best. Damp patches on the ceilings, loos in the garden, and that great scene outside Holborn tube station.

3. The Mother (2003)
Roger Michell gives familiar and not-so-familiar locations an expressive elegance in The Mother, providing more than a mere backdrop to Daniel Craig and Anne Reid's romance.

4. Intimacy (2001)
In between the shagging, Chereau sends his characters out into a bustling, seedy and slightly scary London-town.

5. Last Chance Harvey (2009)
Because sometimes a touristy visit is not such a bad thing, after all.


  1. I love New York more than London...so new york is easy!!

    King Kong (the 2005 remake....the only good thing in the film was the recreation of new york)

    One Fine Day (The city is seen with a great deal of affection)

    Breakfast at Tiffany's (iconic and beautiful, if not a little false)

    I agree with Hannah and her sisters (a tad classy)

    We will have to have one disaster movie here...........best new york distruction must be (believe it or not) Godzilla!!!

  2. London...hummm thats a toughy

    28 days later

    Beautiful thing (even a council estate in london can look sweet)

    84 charing cross road

    Oliver! (of course)

    Dial M for Murder!

  3. Yes, I like ONE FINE DAY as well, I must admit. Then there's WORKING GIRL...

    You must see WONDERLAND if you haven't already.

    As for liking NY more than London ... Disgraceful!

  4. Hey Alex, I must see 'Wonderland'. Bring it round next time we see you please!