by writer/director Raymond De Felitta
Dear Film Club Members,
As an ardent New Yorker and life-long (practically) Manhattan-ite, I’ve often needed reminding that there is a big world outside of Manhattan Island.
But when I started making my own films in New York, I began to notice that most New York movies are actually mis-labeled; really they should be called Manhattan movies. Only when Spike Lee began to venture regularly into the lives of the residents of Brooklyn did mainstream audiences begin to sense how much life exists in the outer-boroughs and how unrepresentative most New York movies are.
In 2000, I made a film called Two Family House which explored life in Staten Island in the 1950s among a tight knit Italian-American enclave. I didn’t think there was anything unusual about portraying this group of folks˜it was a story and group of people I grew up around and wished to explore.
So I was surprised when, upon the films release, I found myself praised for having depicted Italian-Americans who weren’t gangsters. Similarly a number of critics mentioned how refreshing it was to see a New York movie with no Manhattan in it. To me, the outer-boroughs of New York are, in fact, the center of the city˜the homes of the people who make the place run: the cops, firemen, teachers, secretaries, roadworkers, shopowners. These are the true New Yorkers. Many of them live in the Bronx˜a large and often misunderstood borough (it happens to be where my family comes from). And within the Bronx lay a “secret” that I was privileged to discover˜one which gave me the foundation for a movie.
City Island is that secret˜a place that even hard core New Yorkers like myself might not know exists. City Island is a fishing village located in the Bronx˜and if that sounds incongruous, you ought to see the place for yourself. About a mile long, jutting out into the sound, it feels like a New England fishing village that somehow got towed into the wrong port. It’s a place where time stands still, where the residents all know each other and their families, where the true life acquatic is lived… Read more
SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY ACTOR ANDY GARCIA!
CITY ISLAND starts Friday, March 19 at The Landmark. Andy Garcia, who stars as the film’s patriarch, will appear in person at The Landmark on Saturday, March 20 after the 7:25pm
Set in a quaint fishing community on the outskirts of New York City, City Island is a hilarious and touching tale about a family whose comfortable co-existence is upended by surprising revelations of past secrets and present day lies. Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a lifelong resident of the tiny, tradition-steeped Bronx enclave of City Island. A family man who makes his living as a corrections officer, Vince longs to become an actor. Ashamed to admit his aspirations to his family, Vince would rather let his fiery wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies) believe his weekly poker games are a cover for an extramarital affair than admit he’s secretly taking acting classes in Manhattan. When Vince is asked to reveal his biggest secret in class, he inadvertently sets off a chaotic chain of events that turns his mundane suburban life upside down. Inspired by the exercise, he decides to bring his long-lost ex-con son Tony (Steven Strait) home to meet the family, and it soon becomes clear that everyone˜including his college student daughter (Dominik García-Lorido), teenaged son Vinnie, Jr. (Ezra Miller), charismatic acting partner (Emily Mortimer) and drama coach (Alan Arkin)˜has something to hide. Written and directed by Raymond De Felitta (The Thing About My Folks, ‘Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris).
CITY ISLAND TOTE BAG GIVEAWAY!
CITY ISLAND starts Friday, March 19 at The Landmark. The first 25 ticket holders to enter the auditorium at any showing of CITY ISLAND on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 will receive a complimentary CITY ISLAND tote bag! (While quantities last.)