80 Blocks From Tiffany’s is a 1979 documentary directed by Gary Weiss that focuses on gangs such as the “Savage Skulls” and ”Savage Nomads” who occupied areas of the South Bronx. Perhaps even more compelling is considering that the backdrop and social conditions in this film are a ‘far cry’ from the lifestyle being promoted through disco music and film. Perhaps this answers questions to why many people took preference over the funk records which arguably paved the way for Hip Hop culture.

Caputured a film by Ben Solomon and Dan Levin, show the story of Clayton Patterson, and how he captured the essence of the Lower East Side.  As he put it, “It’s not an archive of the rich and cool…It’s about the tragic, glorious, sometimes depressing history of the Lower East Side.”

The movie shows how Clayton, many years ahead of his time, documented with video, which was not easily accessible at the time, the change in his community. He acted not only as a historian of sorts, but at times, as the provocateur, challenging the police, and defending his right of free speech.

Most of the people reading this probably aren’t old enough to remember Phillippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Such a venture seems almost quaint now, but if you see Man on Wire, you’ll realize how stunning the whole thing actually was. Through interviews with Petit himself and a number of the people who helped him perform the walk, Man on Wire traces the genesis of the event, its planning, and its execution. The walk itself, which caps off the film, is really thrilling — even more so when you realize that Petit crossed the wire eight times and looked down. On purpose. A lovely film, which you probably should try to see on the big screen if it’s playing near you.

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