New York City and cinema

Webb, Lawrence (2018) New York City and cinema. Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only until 27 March 2020.

Download (288kB)


New York City has played a vital role in the history of American cinema. This bibliography draws together divergent strands of scholarship that approach the topic of New York City and cinema from multiple perspectives. The iconic cityscapes and distinctive cultural milieux of New York have provided both setting and subject matter for countless movies, whether filmed on location or recreated in Hollywood studios. There is a significant body of work that addresses New York onscreen, analyzing urban narratives and Genres and the use of locations, architecture, and specific areas of the city. This work has explored how cinema has engaged with the changing nature of New York over time, and investigated the representation of the city’s neighborhoods and ethnic groups. An important subsection of this scholarship pursues New York’s special relationship with particular film genres, such as The City Symphony, Musicals, Film Noir, and the Romantic Comedy. In the critical literature, New York has frequently been associated with the work of specific directors, including Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee, as well as key figures in experimental film such as Shirley Clarke, Jonas Mekas, and Andy Warhol. New York has also been an important site for film production and exhibition. Although the American film industry has been predominantly based in Southern California since the 1910s, New York has always been Hollywood’s second city. In the studio era, it was home to the studios’ corporate headquarters and a string of highly profitable first-run theatres. Although filming in the city has waxed and waned, New York has always played an influential role as a regional production hub, a source of talent, and a center for film criticism. The city can claim a pivotal role in the development of early cinema, and it therefore holds a privileged place in histories of early film production and exhibition. New York has also operated in multiple ways as a counterpoint to Hollywood and a crucible for independent or alternative film culture. Experimental filmmaking has flourished in New York, especially in the mid-20th century, and the city has long operated as a vital hub for independent distribution as well as fostering a network of underground and nontheatrical exhibition spaces. This is addressed in intersecting bodies of work on experimental and independent film, and on New York Film Culture. There is now an extensive critical literature on the wider relationship between cinema and the city (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies article The City in Film by Pamela Robertson Wojcik for a more general cinema-city bibliography). This bibliography only includes sources that focus (in whole or in part) on New York City in particular.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Lawrence Webb
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 09:20
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 16:15

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update