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Michael Atkinson

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Reel Brooklyn is a biweekly column chronicling the definitive history of Brooklyn on-screen, one film—and neighborhood—at a time. Perhaps it was the most extreme metaphor for Brooklyn gentrification ever: a swoon-worthy B-Heights brownstone whose only renters are adversaries in the Miltonic battle between God and Satan. A late-comer in the who's-more-Catholic horror-movie fad that began with Rosemary's Baby (1968) and reached pustulating white-head-ness with The Omen (1976), Michael Winner's The Sentinel (1977) relocates the traffic...
Reel Brooklyn is a biweekly column chronicling the definitive history of Brooklyn on-screen, one film—and neighborhood—at a time. For decades before his death in 1999 the globe's reigning genius-director demigod, Stanley Kubrick, had always seemed like a man without a country—a despot in his own kingdom of weird dreams and mega-visions. But he was in fact a born-bred New Yorker, a child of Clinton Avenue in the Bronx, and if of all of his...
Reel Brooklyn is a biweekly column chronicling the definitive history of Brooklyn on-screen, one film—and neighborhood—at a time. Why exactly filmmakers came to shoot so much in New York in the 60s-70s golden age, when in decades prior a Hollywood backlot would suffice (as it did in years of Seinfeld), we may never figure for sure. Coolness, tax incentives, imperative cultural eminence, all of the above, who can say. Peter Yates's The Hot Rock—an all-but-forgotten...
Reel Brooklyn is a biweekly column chronicling the definitive history of Brooklyn on-screen, one film—and neighborhood—at a time. Any strolling movie-tour of Brooklyn must eventually confront the fact that where you are is actually East Spikistan—Spike Lee has made the borough his personal sound stage for well over 30 years now. You have your pick of joints: Do the Right Thing (1989) is such an obvious, self-consciously anthropological choice I'll skip right over it, while...

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