Me and the ex-Mayor, fellow film critics

Last week I had the honor of interviewing former Mayor Ed Koch, on the occasion of the release of his new book Buzz: How to Create it and Win With It, published by the company I work for. Hizzoner is still spry and charming at 82 and offered an animated interview mostly regaling his thoughts on managing one's public persona.

He eagerly shared one of his current endeavors: writing movie reviews. He distributes them through email as well as through The Villager, a weekly publication out of Lower Manhattan. Perusing the archive of reviews, I found them pretty off-the-wall at times, and it became interesting to compare my reactions to his. Some choice pull quotes:


This film wasn’t Irish enough for me, but it is good and will have to do until the next one is made which I will rush to see. I saw it at the Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street in Manhattan. The majority of the people in the audience, mostly in their 20s and 30s, applauded when it ended. I snapped my fingers.

Lady Chatterley:

When I was in high school, the pornographic novel that was supposed to be a sex manual was "Lady Chatterley's Lover" by D. H. Lawrence. But the book was not available to us, because the post office would not allow it to enter the country. So we just thought about it and imagined the carnal scenes. A boy's imagination is incredible, especially when his hormones are surging.

As for the film itself: "There is lots of sex and female and male full frontal nudity, but the film is so static, so innocent, so lacking decadence, it was a huge disappointment."

28 Weeks Later:

Save your money. The movie is absurd and totally devoid of any pleasure or insight. For the $11 admission price, you can buy a good meal in Chinatown and have a far more interesting evening.

(Hear hear! At least about the Chinatown part.)

Children of Men (one of my favorites of last year)::

"I found the entire exercise unbelievable and the unending battle scenes between the Army and the revolutionaries finally became boring. This is a sci-fi film and the pictorials are fine, but the script and dialogue leave much to be desired. I don’t recommend it to you."

Battle in Heaven (another one of my favorites):

"This is a truly outrageous film, degrading to women and disgusting to men. If it had been made 35 or 40 years ago, I believe the distributors would have been arrested as pornographers for the indecent sex scenes on the screen.

The three principals are Marcos (Marcos Hernandez), his wife (Bertha Ruiz), and his mistress, Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz). Marcos and his wife are so fat and disproportionate in body build that they resemble the sculptures of the Latin American artist Botero that were displayed on Park Avenue a number of years ago. As sculptures, they were divine; as real bodies, they are crude, gross, obese, obscene and a total turn-off when it comes to sex. The intimate scenes between the obese couple are almost painful to watch, even to the point of nausea.

I never thought a movie could make coupling distasteful, but this film does. It is porn with pretension, religion trashing, and it appears to excuse kidnapping and accept prostitution."

Lost in Translation:

"It is hype, pure hype. There is no comparison to the movie it allegedly resembles, Brief Encounter. That movie of over fifty years ago, starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, still resonates with great meaning when its name surfaces. This current movie devoted to loneliness and connecting with another lost soul will not be remembered next year, let alone fifty years later.

Hi five on that last one, Mayor!!!