- New York Stories
New York Stories
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Woody Allen
Francis Ford Coppola
Produced by Barbara De Fina
Charles H. Joffe
Written by Woody Allen
Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Woody Allen
Music by Kid Creole
Cinematography Sven Nykvist
Editing by Susan E. Morse
Studio American Zoetrope (Life without Zoe) Distributed by Touchstone Pictures Release date(s) March 10, 1989 Running time 124 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $15 million Box office $10,763,469
New York Stories is a 1989 anthology film; it consists of three shorts with the central theme being New York City.
The first is Life Lessons, directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Richard Price and starring Nick Nolte. The second is Life Without Zoë, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and written by Coppola with his daughter, Sofia Coppola. The last is Oedipus Wrecks, directed, written by and starring Woody Allen.
Reviews were generally positive for Life Lessons and Oedipus Wrecks, but generally negative for Life Without Zoë. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post wrote that Coppola's segment was "by far the director's worst work yet."
One actor, Paul Herman, has a bit part in each segment.
In a story loosely based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short novel The Gambler, Nick Nolte plays Lionel Dobie, an acclaimed abstract artist who is unable to paint before a major gallery exhibition of his new work. Rosanna Arquette is Paulette, his apprentice/assistant and former lover. Lionel is still infatuated with her, but Paulette wants only his tutelage, which makes things difficult since they live in the same studio-loft. Paulette dates other people, including a performance artist (Steve Buscemi) and a painter (Jesse Borrego).
These deliberate provocations on Paulette's part make Lionel insanely jealous — and fuel his creativity. Lionel and Paulette, it becomes clear, have been using each other: Lionel using her sexually, Paulette using him as a means of entry to the higher spheres of the New York social and art scene. Paulette wants to give up and go home to her parents but Lionel persuades her to stay because New York is where a painter needs to be.
Lionel pours his anxiety and repressed passion into his work. Paintings around the studio show visual metaphors from relations past: stormy skies, burning bridges, and tormented clowns. Lionel realizes that he needs the emotional turmoil of his destructive relationships in order to fuel his art. In the last scene, at the art exhibit, Lionel meets another attractive young woman, a struggling painter. He persuades her to become his assistant, and potentially his lover, beginning the cycle anew.
Life Without Zoë
Zoë (Heather McComb) is a schoolgirl who lives in a luxury hotel. She helps return to an Arab princess a valuable piece of jewelry that the princess had given to Zoë's father (Giancarlo Giannini) and had been subsequently stolen and recovered. Zoë tries to reconcile her divorced mother, a photographer (Talia Shire), and father, a flute soloist. Adrien Brody also appears in his first film role.
New York lawyer Sheldon (Woody Allen) has problems with his overly critical mother (Mae Questel). Sheldon complains constantly to his therapist about her, wishing aloud that she would just disappear. Sheldon takes his fiancé, Lisa (Mia Farrow), to meet his mother, who immediately embarrasses him. The three, as well as Lisa's children from a previous marriage, go to a magic show. His mother is invited on stage to be a part of the magician's act. She is put inside a box that has swords stuck through it and she disappears, just as she is supposed to, but then she never reappears.
Furious at first, this development turns out to be great for Sheldon because, with her out of his life, he can finally relax. But soon, to his horror, his mother reappears in the sky over New York City. She begins to annoy Sheldon and Lisa (with the whole city now watching) by constantly talking to strangers about his most embarrassing moments. This puts a strain on his relationship with Lisa, who leaves him. Sheldon is persuaded by his psychiatrist to see a psychic, Treva (Julie Kavner), to try to get his mother back to reality. Treva's experiments fail, but Sheldon falls for her, possibly finding her to be very similar to his mother (see Oedipus complex). When he introduces Treva to his mother, she finally approves and comes back to Earth.
- Woody Allen as Sheldon
- Larry David as Theater manager
- Mae Questel as Mother
- Mia Farrow as Lisa
- Heather McComb as Zoë
- Talia Shire as Charlotte
- Giancarlo Giannini as Claudio
- Don Novello as Hector
- Julie Kavner as Treva
- Nick Nolte as Lionel Dobie
- Rosanna Arquette as Paulette
- Steve Buscemi as Gregory Stark
- Jesse Borrego as Reuben Toro
- Mike Starr as Hardhat
- James Keane as Jimmy
- Adrien Brody as Mel
- Chris Elliott as Robber
- Peter Gabriel as Himself
- Illeana Douglas as Paulette's friend
- Deborah Harry as Blind alley girl
- Carmine Coppola as Street musician
- Holly Marie Combs as Costume party guest
- Kirsten Dunst (uncredited) as Lisa's daughter
- Martin Scorsese (uncredited) as Man having picture taken with Lionel Dobie
- ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/new_york_stories/
- ^ "New York Stories (PG)". The Washington Post. March 3, 1989. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/newyorkstoriespghinson_a0a8de.htm. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- ^ "Festival de Cannes: New York Stories". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/215/year/1989.html. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- ^ New York Stories at Rotten Tomatoes
- New York Stories at the Internet Movie Database
- New York Stories at Box Office Mojo
- New York Stories at Rotten Tomatoes
- Vincent Canby review
Films directed by Woody Allen 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Short films See also
- Awards and nominations
Francis Ford Coppola 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sTwixt (2011) Short filmsCaptain EO (1986) · Life Without Zoe (1989) CreditsPatton (writer, 1970) · THX 1138 (executive producer, 1971) · American Graffiti (producer, 1973) · The Great Gatsby (writer, 1974) · The Black Stallion (executive producer, 1979) · Kagemusha (executive producer for the international version, 1980) · Hammett (producer, 1982) · Koyaanisqatsi (producer, 1982) · The Black Stallion Returns (executive producer, 1983) · Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (producer, 1985) · Tough Guys Don't Dance (executive producer, 1987) · Lionheart (executive producer, 1987) · Powaqqatsi (executive producer, 1989) · Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (appearance, 1991) · The Junky's Christmas (producer, 1993) · Frankenstein (producer, 1994) · Don Juan DeMarco (producer, 1995) · Lani Loa – The Passage (producer, 1998) · The Florentine (producer, 1999) · The Virgin Suicides (producer, 1999) · Sleepy Hollow (producer, 1999) · CQ (executive producer, 2001) · Jeepers Creepers (executive producer, 2001) · Lost in Translation (executive producer, 2003) · Jeepers Creepers 2 (executive producer, 2003) · Kinsey (executive producer, 2004) · The Good Shepherd (executive producer, 2006) · Marie Antoinette (executive producer, 2006) · Somewhere (executive producer, 2010) · On the Road (producer, 2011) Enterprises Martin Scorsese filmography 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sShutter Island (2010) • Hugo (2011) Short filmsWhat's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) • It's Not Just You, Murray! (1964) • The Big Shave (1967) • Bad (1987) • Life Lessons (1989) • Made in Milan (1990) • The Key to Reserva (2007) DocumentariesStreet Scenes (1970) • Italianamerican (1974) • American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince (1978) • The Last Waltz (1978) • A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995) • My Voyage to Italy (1999) • The Blues: Feel Like Going Home (2003) • No Direction Home (2005) • Shine a Light (2008) • A Letter to Elia (2010) • Public Speaking (2010) • George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) Produced
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