“One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years” Thomas Wolfe – short story writer and novelist, 1900 – 1938.
I have just returned (10.30pm) from seeing yet another movie. This one is by NZ Director, Florian Habitch. Habicht is an Auckland film director who took up the Arts Foundation’s Harriet Friedlander Residency in New York in late 2009. We are told ‘He was under no obligation to do a jot of work, let alone return with the opening night movie for Auckland’s 2011 Film Festival. But return he did with this strangely odd movie ” Habitch was the inaugural recipient of the award and has justified the Arts Foundation‘s choice.
The film is a love story but really not in the sense one would expect. It embraces documentary, fiction, New York city and many of its inhabitants always gregarious and ready to be filmed, summer, sex, romance and just about everything else one can imagine in a movie.
The movie opens with a scene of a young woman walking along the pavement carrying a piece of cake on a plate. She then hops onto a train where she is seen by Habitch who follows her when she gets off. They take off in separate directions with the plan to meet up halfway. But of course, this doesn’t happen. In a conversation on Skype with his father back in New Zealand, he decides that she must be Russian and as many Russians apparently live in Coney Island, this is where he decides to spend his energy and his time looking for her.
They do meet up again and the rest of the movie is spent filming his Love Story. It is a strangely moving film, interspersed with conversations with a wide variety of New Yorkers, from many walks of life, each of whom gives him a different slant to put into his movie.
I don’t know that this is one I would recommend. We had tried to see it at the NZ Film Festival in August but unfortunately, it was on only for two days and sold out early.
The movie was quirky, interesting and different but dragged a little in the middle and seemed to be trying too hard. It was a very low-budget movie and at times this showed. However, if you do get the change to see it, let me know what you think.
And dinner at a local Indian restaurant rounded off the evening very nicely.
And click here to listen to Sinatra singing New York, New York. The video has a selection of great scenes of New York too.
“If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York.”
- NZIFF review: A love for Love Story (entertainment.msn.co.nz)