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Hello Film Enthusiast,

How are things with you? I've decided to shake things up a little bit from today. I'm going to attempt a bit more frequency with the newsletter! The content will be much the same but I'm going to attempt to regulate it a bit more. There will still be reviews and recommendations, some will be long reads, some will be short. There will be upcoming films to look out for, things you can stream on demand, old films that should always be revisited, and occasionally just a bit of a ramble. Who knows, maybe there will even be a cinema visit at some point! 

Please do share my signup link if you know of anyone who might enjoy the read, and thank you for reading! I hope you're staying safe and well, and managing to watch lots of great cinema. Don't hesitate to hit reply and let me know what you've been watching! 😀

Something to Stream

 

Pretend It's a City

Where to watch: Netflix


I just finished watching this wonderful series on Netflix. Pretend it’s a City is about the writer and humourist Fran Lebowitz. The show centres around her whimsical and witty observations, but it’s really about wandering New York City, the place she has inhabited for all of 70 years. Perhaps the show should be titled Pretend You Can Walk Around this CIty. At a time when we can only dream of visiting faraway places, this series really fills a void. Lebowitz inspires dormant wanderlust, with her light, conversational and meandering anecdotes about the people of New York and the chameleonic evolution of the city over the past century.

I didn’t know who Lebowitz, or ‘Franny’ as she is often called, was before this series and I was initially drawn in because of Martin Scorsese. Anyone who has seen his music documentaries such as No Direction Home, or The Last Waltz will be aware that Scorsese’s role as a storyteller, contributor and appreciator of North American art stretches far beyond his penchant for gritty crime fiction. Scorsese is known to have an obsessive approach to work, allowing him to reach great depths and detail in his stories. His onscreen presence in this series shows his obsession with the down-right hilarious and quintessentially New York; Fraz Lebowitz.

Those accustom to more dulcet tones might have to adapt to the whiny New York accent that Fran speaks with. Like Scorsese, she speaks kind of fast. In short little sentences. Kinda like an excited college kid. She has an ever-uprising inflection, and a tendency to end sentences as if they were questions? But she rarely asks questions. She makes sharp short statements and efficient elaborations. She may relax to a slower cadence to deliver her punchlines. Then rest back in her seat and soak up the adoration that she has earned from fond interviewers such as Alec Baldwin, Margot Robbie, Spike Lee, Toni Morrison and of course Martin Scorsese. 

If not for her cigarette aged vocal cords you might mistake her for an upbeat, peppy New York graduate. And from beneath her frown lines and wrinkles, you still see the bright young, opinionated person she was at the start of her career. The lightness of her observations and her expert comedic delivery means these characteristics swiftly becomes a likeable trait rather than a distracting one.

The title of the series comes from one of Fran’s observations, and advice she says should be given to New York City newcomers. Especially those who are likely to stop in the middle of the street and ask her (of all people) for directions. 'Pretend it’s a City’, she says. In other words it is a city, a great one, use it like one and try to appreciate how special it is. I hope that our futures contain much less pretending , and more real life pavement wandering. It will be a great feeling to be able to tread in the footsteps of this funny funny lady once again.
Enjoyed this read?

You can read all of my previous reviews and writing on my website.

Have a scroll through the archives at thechristchurchfilmenthusiast.com/blog!
Next Time: Recent Release

In the next newsletter there will be a review of Druk (Another Round) a film about Danish drinking culture! I previewed it a couple week's ago on my 2020 watchlist and it turned out pretty interesting!

Watch the trailer here.
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