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New York Stories [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Rosanna Arquette, Talia Shire, Giancarlo Giannini, Mae Questal, Mia Farrow
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: June 12 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007NYZA0Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,852 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
I cast my vote Woody's way. I just love the interaction between the over-the-top characters, wonderfully portrayed by Allen, Julie Kavner, and yes, Mia is good too -- can't always say that...
The real gem here is one of the final performances by Mae Questel, who once upon a time played "Betty Boop." Soon after this performance she began to decline due to Alzheimers.
This is the zany, neurotic fun that made Allen's early comedies my favorite part of his opus. Once upon a time when I was a teacher, I used "Oedipus Wrecks" with my students as a "visual short story." I had them write the ending of the story before they saw it. We had great fun with it.
Second I'd vote for Coppola's "Life Without Zoe" based, again, on the performances, especially Heather McComb's debut. She hasn't done much of note since, but I really enjoyed her here.
Scorsese's "Life Lessons" felt flat to me, despite Nolte and Arquette, both of whom I usually really like. It seemed talky and more like some of Allen's later work. There is a germ of a good idea here -- sexual obsession versus art and getting on with one's life, but I felt the film just didn't deliver.
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Format: DVD
I didn't think much of the Woody Allen segment (although he's one of my favorite filmmakers) and I hated the Coppola piece but I'm still giving this one 5 stars because of "Life Lessons" which in the first of three short films in this collection. No other movie that I can think of better illustrates the creative thought processes of the artist (Nick Nolte) or their sense of lonely isolation. He cannot live without women and even hilariously tells his young assistant, and I quote from memory, "I don't know anything about love? I was married and divorced four times before you were even born!" Nolte is tortured by his desires and his isolation but even lust will not allow him to compromise his artistic integrity. When Arquette pleads with him concerning whether she has any talent or not, Nolte refuses to lie to appease her. Instead he elects not to answer her question which infuriates her even more. Although he is downtrodden throughout much of the film the ending is a happy one. I own the VHS and have seen the 40 minutes of "Life Lessons" at least seven times over the years. I highly recommend it.
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There are two-thirds of a good movie in this movie, as New York's three most famous directors each contributed a short film about an aspect of New York life. The opening short, "Life Lessons" by Martin Scorsese and starring Nick Nolte and Roseann Arquette is a unforgiving look at the competitive, abusive, almost cannibalistic world of a megalomaniacal painter. I read somewhere that this short is flawed because Nolte's character doesn't change. That is not a flaw; that's the point. The ego of a successful artist, according to Scorsese, will not soften, will not learn what a conscience is, will not admit that there are other artists in his/her world. Even when the artist recognizes talent in someone else, it is quickly dismissed. The ego lords over all.
The final short film, "Oedipus Wrecks" by Woody Allen is typical comic genius. The plot is simple. Woody takes his overbearing mother to a magic show, and the magician makes her disappear. Completely disappear. The magician himself doesn't know how he did it. When mom appears as an apparition in the clouds, and speaks to the entire population of Gotham about her son, the laughs are endless.
In between these two films is one directed by Francis Ford Coppola. I can't tell you what it's about. I have yet to sit through more than ten minutes of it.
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Format: DVD
But that is an absolutely amazing film. I lived in that world for a very long time, and then got out. The film is dead ON in its presentation of the art world during that era, but what struck me most was the absolute dispassionate fairness with which the two main characters, a famous painter and his young "assistant," are presented.

Here are two people using each other, and at the same time dazzled by each other, each in a completely different way. We are given just a glimpse of the tenderness they must have shared early in their relationship when the dazzlement would have been enough to make them believe that what they felt was love.

The same story could have been told about any of the other NYC worlds where people tend to love mostly their own ambitions and only secondarily the idea of someone else. You get the feeling, watching Nolte, that he's on to himself, but doesn't have a choice. As really none of us does, when it comes to being what we are, and whom we love.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 56 reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2/3 of a good film May 11 2004
By Rocco Dormarunno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
There are two-thirds of a good movie in this movie, as New York's three most famous directors each contributed a short film about an aspect of New York life. The opening short, "Life Lessons" by Martin Scorsese and starring Nick Nolte and Roseann Arquette is a unforgiving look at the competitive, abusive, almost cannibalistic world of a megalomaniacal painter. I read somewhere that this short is flawed because Nolte's character doesn't change. That is not a flaw; that's the point. The ego of a successful artist, according to Scorsese, will not soften, will not learn what a conscience is, will not admit that there are other artists in his/her world. Even when the artist recognizes talent in someone else, it is quickly dismissed. The ego lords over all.
The final short film, "Oedipus Wrecks" by Woody Allen is typical comic genius. The plot is simple. Woody takes his overbearing mother to a magic show, and the magician makes her disappear. Completely disappear. The magician himself doesn't know how he did it. When mom appears as an apparition in the clouds, and speaks to the entire population of Gotham about her son, the laughs are endless.
In between these two films is one directed by Francis Ford Coppola. I can't tell you what it's about. I have yet to sit through more than ten minutes of it.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Film 4 Stars, DVD 2 Sept. 19 2009
By Justin Morgan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this film, but the biggest problem I have is with the aspect ratio. I recently bought the film, not realizing it had been cut to a 1.33:1 from a 1.85:1, and I ultimately feel like if I'm paying for a film, I should own the entire thing.

Shame on me for not reviewing the aspect ratio before purchase, but beyond that, it's a great film minus the Coppola dribble in the middle.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
New York, the unperishable April 29 2002
By Jacques COULARDEAU - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Three directors to approach the diversity of New York.

Scorsese depicts the life of a painter in this city. He is a cannibal and needs to possess a younger woman, slightly artistic to find his momentum and his inspiration. He is the absolute vampire who sucks life out of her till she rebels and goes away, but he needs this resistance for inspiration to work.

Coppola looks at the city through the eyes of a young girl, the daughter of an internationally famous photographer, her mother, and an internationally famous flutist, her father. She lives in that rich world without any parents with her most of the time and finds a sudden pleasure when she can take a plane with her mother to fly to a concert of her father's somewhere in the wild wide world. Is that a life for a child ? It sure is the life of the children of that class of world-wide artists and celebrities and New York is an excellent base for them to grow somewhat normally.

Woody Allen goes back to his obsession of a Jewish possessive mother who cannot accept her son to be an independent person. She meddles and the trick is her disappearance and reappearance in the sky of Manhattan talking for weeks to everyone in the street and developing a consciousness of everyday life problems. New York, in that vision, is seen as the ultimate mother and the primeval family.

New York is thus shown as a multifarious entity where people live in a world of their own, a world suspended in mid air, somewhere in another space and time. Outlandish, eerie and fascinating. Nothing can destroy a city like this, and the vision of the twin towers of the WTC are there to remind us of that absolute perenity in resurrection if necessary...

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
New York, New York March 12 2007
By Galina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The anthology of three short films that take place in New York City was made by three great American directors, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Francis Ford Coppola.

"Life Lessons" directed by Martin Scorsese, literally took my breath away - it made me want to rewatch all Scorsese's films (with the one exception, GONY, though). What a magnificent work - visually it is as powerful as the painting Nolte's Lionel was painting. Combining in one short film Procul Harum's "A whiter shade of pale" and Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from "Turandot" was a stroke of genius. This film is an ode to the power of talent; it is about greatness and curse of the gift, not about love to the woman. The best scene of the film and I'd say one of the best ever made about the Artist's work is Nolte triumphantly painting his masterpiece - his love, desire, lust, cries, whispers, tears, and humiliations magically transform with every stroke of his brush into the immortal, triumphant, brilliant work of art. By the time the painting is finished, he would need a new source of inspiration and self-torture, and the cycle will repeat over again. Devilishly clever portrait of an Artist as Not a Young Man. 9.5/10 (4.5/5)

I loved Woody Allen's "Oedipus Wrecks" and I think it is very funny and touching. Looks like Allen has met mothers or grandmothers like Mrs. Millstein in real life and his little gem is his love-hate letter to them. In the end, mom always knows what is best for her little boy. Mae Questel and Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson) were wonderful. Woody's face after his mom "disappears" and the scene when he practically makes love to the chicken drumstick are pure delight; also the commentary that New York is used to everything and readily accepts the crazy situation - it is so true. One of the best Allen's films I've seen lately - I am very glad that I finally saw it.

Larry David ("Seinfeld", "Curb Your Enthusiasm") plays the Theater Manager. It made me think if Estelle Costanza created by David and Mrs. Millstein (Woody's omnipresent mother) have a lot in common in making the lives of their sons miserable and smothering them with their merciless love? 9/10 (4/5)

Coppola's "Life Without Zoë" was much weaker than Scorsese's and Allan's stories and paled in comparison - this episode "from the lives of the reach and beautiful" was pretty and cute but you can skip it. 5/10 (2.5/5)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TWO HITS AND A MISS Dec 1 2005
By D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It is sort of a film buffs treat to see a collection of shorter films by some of the greatest directors of our time. I mean, i wish this would happen more often the only problem is that they are inevitably almost always uneven to your average viewer.

The one that kicks off the film Scorsese's "Life Lesson" is a really great short film. Nolte and Arquette are convincing as the artist and the pupil. It develves deep into the psyche exploring sexual obession, art, and jeasously. I know Scorsese has been down this road before with his masterpiece 'Raging Bull', but in this one working on a smaller scale I think

we get a better idea of where Scorsese may be coming from as person. Of course this is only specualtion and the film is fascinting by it self nevertheless.

The next one is, Francis Ford Coppolia 'Life with Zoe' a short film that really isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Coppolia as an Operatic-Epic filmaker The Godfather, Apcolypse Now is just about par none. When he makes smaller more people oriented pictures One From the Heart, Peggy Sue Got Married, Rumble Fish he's usually good and at the same time almost a completly different filmaker. I'm not claiming one route is better than the other. I just think he has two different styles and this short is defintely in the second more gentler vain. That said it kind of falls short in that category, it has that Disney Movie feel but all in all i like the way its from the young girl's perspective and it is kind of likable.

Lastly we have Woody's film "Oedius Rex" a real funny little movie. This is Woody doing situational comedy, and he's damn good at it, a mother dissapears and ends up in the New York Sky. It's not the funniest film ever or even one of Allen's best, but its a throwback to his earlier lighter days.

I really like this idea of having multiple directors show and make shorter works, its a testament to the directors as artists and craftsmans to make these movies, its just its probaly not as well paying as a bigger movie.

If you like this or just the idea you might also wanna check out

ROPAG- Godard, Pasolini, Roselini all make good shorts films here

Four Rooms-Rodriguez in top form, Tarantino short is good-Anders and Rockwell's shorts were cut-and it shows because they are not so good

Eros-Antononi,Soderberg, Wong Kar Wai (Almodovar does the spin around) need i say more

Two Evil Eyes-Argento's Black Cat is as great as his Suspiria-I worship the films of George A. Romero but his is just good

Spirts of the Dead-Fellini's Toby Dammit wow-wow-wow-also decent films by Malle and Vadim

Kurosawa, Bergman, and Fellini were supposed to make one of these

together but never did, what a loss maybe in the next life.

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