The City That Never Sleeps Essay
In his essay on New York as “noir universe” in City That Never Sleeps: New York and the Filmic Imagination, Wheeler Winston Dixon argues that,
New York has a hold on our imagination because it is so compact, so violent, so energetic, so full of possibilities, a place where neighborhoods change from one street to the next and strangers can become intimate friends or deadly enemies on the slightest of whims. (p. 243)
It is this contradictory and complicated engagement with the metropolis that seems to fascinate all the contributors to this collection. New York City, as it exists in film, here represents an entity impossible to pin down. While it is more than just a cinematic backdrop, more than a mere location, its exact characteristics and its place in film and culture become highly contested. By the end of this anthology of New York stories, I was left with the sense that the city – and the films which emerge from and about it – can mean almost anything to almost anyone, and that this is the reason for its continuing hold on our filmic imaginations.
This is a diverse collection of essays, looking at everything from Woody Allen’s films of the 1970s – such as Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) – to “class-passing” in films from the 1930s, such as Dinner at Eight (George Cukor, 1933), My Man Godfrey (Gregory La Cava, 1936) and Manhattan Melodrama (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934). We jump from the architecture of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954), North By Northwest (1959) and The Wrong Man (1956) to Martin Scorsese’s portraits of the streets in Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1967), Mean Streets (1973) and Gangs of New York (2002). And from Spike Lee’s explorations of racism in Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983) and Do the Right Thing (1989), we are thrown into the ethnic slums of Street Scene (King Vidor, 1931) and Dead End (William Wyler, 1937). All these elements are tied together by a thread of exuberance about the diverse and ever-changing nature of the city, a deep love and nostalgia for New York and all the things it represents, and an embracing of all the ways the city has been represented. In this way, City That Never Sleeps seems to fulfill Murray Pomerance’s intention as articulated in his introduction, where he describes the collection as “something of a rhapsody and also something of a meditation” (p. 4): “the city configured here is a kind of dream and not exactly a place, an inspiration and not exactly a polis” (p. 5). As a kind of “map” for the book, Pomerance’s introduction describes a number of ways in which this particular city has been rendered on screen, seeing it as everything from an actual location to an imaginary part of cultural memory, from a spirit which can be transplanted elsewhere to an asylum for anyone who doesn’t fit in anywhere else. While suggesting that this city, and this city in film, can ultimately mean anything and cannot be truly fixed or theorised, Pomerance also acknowledges that the sections of the book are like New York’s neighborhoods, each bounded by limitations, and he admits that many important films had to be excluded. By accepting the impossibility of creating a definitive vision of New York, the authors are allowed free reign to project whatever they like onto this screen city. Each author seems to see this metropolis from a very specific, often limited, perspective. Yet the variety of positions taken, and films discussed, allows for a reasonably comprehensive series of snapshots – each one illuminating another side of the city and the films which take it as their inspiration.
Pomerance cites William Rothman’s The “I” of the Camera(1) in laying down the ground rules for the nature of these meditations, and this makes for a refreshing work of film theory. There is a genuine commitment here to textual analysis over “a dominating precinematic reality” (p. 5), and a discussion of the particular pleasures and experiences associated with the cinematic city. Beginning his introduction with Jean Baudrillard’s assertion that “you should not…begin with the city and move inwards to the screen; you should begin with the screen and move outwards to the city” (2), Pomerance argues for a discussion of the city as represented on the screen and experienced through cinema, and for an understanding of New York which cannot be separated from the way it is represented in our particular filmic imaginations. Barry Keith Grant writes of his memories of “growing up simultaneously in New York and with the movies” (p. 49), of an experience of the city which cannot be separated from the movie theatres and the films he saw there, especially The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Eugène Lourié, 1953). This cannot help but recall Woody Allen’s deeply nostalgic Radio Days (1987), in which the city and the movies are deeply interconnected, and it highlights the personal angle taken by many of the contributors in their discussions of the city they idealise.
Manhattan is not seen exclusively as an idyllic, iconic metropolis, however, but rather as a place, or a personality, which both attracts and repels, brings together and tears apart. In a long tradition of ambivalence towards the urban jungle, the essays here do not present a uniformly positive representation of the city that never sleeps. In an analysis of Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1961), Peter Lehman and William Luhr end their discussion of the chic and bohemian Manhattan with a sad realisation that the impulse to alleviate the alienation and loneliness of modern life often fails. New York, despite its glamour, is seen in an ambiguous and not altogether positive light. Balancing out discussions of upper-class sophistication and endless possibilities – in films like Swing Time (George Stevens, 1936) and The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940) – the city’s darker representations are given equal weight. Films filled with police corruption, brutality, ruthless capitalism and violence are discussed by Pamela Grace in her chapter on Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men (1957), The Pawnbroker (1964), Q & A (1990) and Serpico (1973); films which portray the city as a site where any of our darker thoughts and fascinations can be given a home (if not a rent-controlled apartment). This collection certainly highlights contradiction and difference over cohesion and uniformity, and it stresses film’s power to capture, and inform, these inconsistencies.
A book about New York on screen would not be complete without frequent reference to Woody Allen (at least, the Woody from the late 1970s) and Martin Scorsese (at least, when he was making gritty films about the darker side of urban life). The contributions from William Rothman and Paula J. Massood on these directors are some of the most interesting in the book. Rothman takes an unusually sceptical view of Allen’s work – especially the oft-praised The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) – accusing him of an inability to move on from tired and nostalgic notions of his city and suggesting that the films in which Allen does not play the romantic lead are sadly lacking in “soul’”. He berates Allen for not acknowledging his debt to classical Hollywood films, and sees Annie Hall as a “remarriage comedy” in the tradition of The Philadelphia Story, albeit one that fails due to Alvy Singer’s inadequacies compared to Cary Grant’s Dex. He sees Allen’s films as being ultimately concerned with his characters’ failure to find happiness in the metropolis, although it seems that – given the deeply contradictory image of the city that begins to form as we get further into the book – this failure of love in the city is part of the allure and the excitement so eagerly sought by the characters in New York films. Rothman ends with a somewhat disappointing aside: in a book so concerned with analysis of filmic texts, it is strange that Rothman finds hope in Allen’s decision to make films in London. He mentions Match Point (2005) and Scoop (2006), but admits he has not seen either film. If he had, he might not have been so keen for Woody to give up on New York, and might have found these new films sadly lacking in the qualities which made Allen’s New York films so successful (3).
Massood, in her discussion of Scorsese’s New York, again takes up the theme of contradiction in representations of the city, seeing it “as both utopian and dystopian – a place of family, tradition, and group identity that is also limiting and insular and where any form of border crossing is often life-threatening” (p. 77). This description of the city allows for another of the book’s themes to emerge – the idea that films about New York are both specific to their location and representative of broader issues in America as a whole. Themes of inclusion and exclusion, isolation and belonging, possibility for social mobility and a debilitating tribalism, seem to emerge time and again in these essays, whether they are discussing films from the 1930s or more recent renditions of a city much changed by globalisation, migration, and, of course, terrorism.
With essays as diverse as the city itself, and a vast variety of films analysed in relation to complex and conflicting readings of this ultimate urban landscape, City That Never Sleeps offers a varied and rich work of the filmic imagination. The book’s focus on the films themselves is commendable, and it insists we interrogate the way images of the city affect and change our experience of it. We encounter the “nightmare imagery” of Escape from New York (John Carpenter, 1981) (p. 124), and the city as satanic in Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968), alongside analyses of Manhattan’s architecture and its links to class issues. From the city as ethnic slum to the city as a motivating character in filmic narratives, New York is not a fixed entity or idea. It is nostalgic, serious and delirious. It is specific, yet mutable. It is, as Pomerance points out, “the New York of our screen dreams” (p. 4).
City That Never Sleeps: New York and the Filmic Imagination, edited by Murray Pomerance, Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, 2007.
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- William Rothman, The “I” of the Camera: Essays in Film Criticism, History, and Aesthetics, second edition, Cambridge Studies in Film, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.
- Pomerance takes Richard A. Blake’s reading of Baudrillard – from his book Street Smart: The New York of Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee – as the opening for his introduction to City That Never Sleeps (Richard A. Blake, Street Smart: The New York of Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, 2005). Pomerance qualifies this by saying Baudrillard will not “inhabit” the book (p. 3), but he explains that the notion he articulates with this quote will be of great importance for the whole project – the idea of travelling from the screen to the city, and not the other way around.
- This is certainly the case with Cassandra’s Dream (Allen, 2007) – an unsuccessful attempt to make another Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) – where working-class British lads struggle unconvincingly with the words of a Manhattanite.
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...A Good Night’s Sleep- What is sleep? Sleep is defined as unconsciousness while are brain is still active processing and rejuvenating period. Sleep is a physical and mental resting period in which a person is unaware of their environment. In a normal sleep our body is changing by decreasing body temperature, blood pressure and other body functions. Sleep is very important to us and everyone for that matter because we all need to sleep and rest our bodies. It’s so important because it’s a vital biological function without sleep we know that our bodies are unable to function the way we want them to. We lose lack of day-time alertness, drowsiness and more susceptible to health problems such as stroke, diabetes, obesity and even depression. In the article ("Good night’s sleep") they discuss about College students sleeping patterns changing for example, not getting enough sleep. I felt that the article didn’t have information about sleeping patterns when there has been research about sleeping patterns. In 2002 Canadian Community health survey found that 18% of people sleep 5 hours or less a day. Sleep is put into two parts one being called non-REM and REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Non-REM consists of four stages of sleep, each deeper than the last. REM is when you are at the most active sleeping you are dreaming and your eyes are moving rapidly. Our sleep patterns consist of stages 1-4. Stage one last about 5 minutes, easily awaken. Stage 2 first stage of sleep about first 25......
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The City That Never Sleeps
...The City that Never Sleeps” New York City truly is “The City that Never Sleeps”. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. New York City has it all. From Broadway theaters to hundreds of museums to historic landmarks, there are attractions everywhere. Every day no matter the temperature the streets are continuously filled with people. Although there are differences around the city during the winter and the summer seasons the crowds never seem to cease. New York has many sights no matter the season. The streets are lined with skyscrapers that during the winter trap the wind and cold within. The streets in the winter are covered with dark black sludge that once was white snow. The air is always bitter cold. On the contrary during the summer the tall buildings trap the excruciating heat within while the streets seem to emit steam. Nevertheless everyday people come without regards to the weather. The majority of tourist spends their time visiting the numerous attractions New York City has to offer. No matter the weather people still want to go there the only difference is the change of winter or summer attire. The Empire State Building is one of New York's best known buildings, is visited by two million people each year. The Statue of Liberty is an American symbol of freedom, and visitors take the journey to the top to peer out the window to view the city. Central Park can be a beautiful tourist attraction during any kind of weather. In the......
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...definition of terms. Background of the Study Sleep is an integrated part of human health and life and is crucial for learning, performance, and physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem facing individuals in many critical societal roles. It is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function. Few studies have compared the effects of acute total sleep deprivation and chronic partial sleep restriction. Complete absence of sleep over long periods is impossible for humans to achieve (unless they suffer from fatal familial insomnia); brief micro sleeps cannot be avoided. A National Sleep Foundation survey found that college/university-aged students get an average of 6.7 hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation is common in first year college students as they adjust to the stress and social activities of college life. A study performed by the Department of Psychology at the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan concluded that freshmen received the shortest amount of sleep during the week. In 1997 the University of Minnesota did research that compared students who went to school at 7:15 am and those who went to school at 8:40 am. They found that students who went to school at 8:40 got higher grades and more sleep on weekday nights. One in four U.S.......
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...Sleep deprivation in college students is very common with consequences that affect their physical and mental health. Peer pressure from friends or roommates and the demands of school and jobs leave many teens and college students chronically sleep deprived. Many college kids don't think they need the required hours of sleep necessary for good physical and mental health. In error many think that their youthful energy is enough to keep them going rather than a good 8 hours of sleep. What is sleep deprivation? The best definition of sleep deprivation is found by WebMD. "a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks." Sleep deprivation is a lack of sleep or not getting enough sleep, unlike insomnia which means a person has trouble falling and staying asleep. Much of society suffers to some extent from sleep deprivation. But ignoring the advice to "get plenty of sleep" has an exaggerated impact on the bodies and minds of college students. Faced with the famous dilemma: "Study, friends, sleep -- pick two," it is often "sleep" that students delete. Sleep deprivation, especially during exam periods, is a way of life for students. A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation (National Sleep Foundation, 2009) )found that “63% of college students do not get enough sleep.” Fifteen percent of college students admitted that they fall asleep in class. Those students who......
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...English Importance of sleep. Sleep is very important and beneficial part of our lives. Sleep helps us to have a better quality of life, but nowadays not sleeping well has become part of the lives of many people. The sleep needed is between 7 to 9 hours, but some people get 6 hours or less. Sleep deficiency can be presented at any time of our lives, as adult people, teenagers and even in children. Sleeping well helps us physically and mentally. It is known that sleep plays an important role and helps us to improve our memory, health, learning and metabolism. Also sleep has an big impact on our life and it can bring a lot of consequences such as, long term diseases, car accidents, memory problems, shorter life, lower grades, deficiency at work, mad mood, poor performance exercise and extra activities. One of the consequences that lack of sleep brings is long term diseases. If we do not sleep what we need, we can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and hypertension, metabolic problems such as, obesity and diabetes and emotional disorders such as, depression and bipolar disorder. When we deprive our bodies of sleep, it raises ghrelin which it is a hormone that regulates the need to eat. When we do not sleep, that hormone increases causing us want to eat more when we do not need it, so that is when obesity problems are presented. Also, sleeping decreases leptin which is another hormone that regulates the need to eat and when it decreases, we will have the......
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...We spend one third of our lives doing it, and yet some of us never raise a thought about it and what happens while it occurs. Sleep is truly a wondrous process. During sleep, our brain takes our bodies through five different stages: rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement, otherwise known as NREM, which represent four of the five stages. Each stage corresponds differently in length and produces different brain waves as well as dreams. The first stage of sleep is very brief and the sleeper experiences hypnogogic sensations. Stage two is a deep, twenty-minute cycle, and the third is short in length, much like the first. However, it is also the transitional period into stage four, which lasts thirty minutes long. REM sleep ends the course of the sleep cycle, lasting a total of ten minutes or more. Sleep begins in stage one and progresses into stages two, three, and four. After stage four, stage three and then stage two are repeated before entering REM sleep. The total time it takes for a person’s body to go through all five stages is about 90 minutes. Stage one is a very light sleep. The person is not technically asleep yet, for he/she is easily awakened. During this stage, many people may experience hallucinations that are mistaken for dreams and/or falling/floating sensations. David Meyers defines hallucinations as, “[f]alse sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.” (p.94) Many people will recall being......
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...Although there is still no satisfying answer to the question of why we sleep, rapid progress in the last several years suggests that this may soon change. Perhaps a better understanding of the function of sleep will also help to change attitudes about sleep at a societal level. The average person requires about eight hours of sleep per night, but many otherwise healthy people continually deprive themselves of adequate sleep with consequences that include fatigue, poor decision-making and increased risk of accidents. Although there is still no satisfying solution to the question of why we sleep, sleep is not a waste of time. Sleep is something that bodies need to do and sleep is a natural part of everybody's life, but many people know very little about how important it is, and some even try to get by with little sleep. It is important for the mind and body to function normally. Every individual is different on how much sleep they need. The younger they are the more sleep you need. As an individual get older he/she does not need as much sleep as he/she would when he/she were at a young age. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours to get the best sleep to function for the next day, during the sleeping hours the body goes into a deep sleep that helps the body be ready for the next day to give the energy that and individual will need. Other people need a nap during the day to function at their highest ability. The body will let your brain know when you are getting tired, and you will......
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...Sleep and brain development: With the relevantly recent discovery of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the once subjective state of sleep is no longer expressed as a homogeneous occurrence of passive rest for the brain. Instead, REM sleep has, "appeared as an active condition of intense cerebral activity." (1). And to be even more interesting, the fact that as humans we get more sleep at younger ages, 25 and younger, when intense neurological development is taking place means that, "sleep may play a role in brain maturation." (1). A recent study has research sleep in young children as well as young adults. It has found that, "Sleep and sleep cycles begin at around 26 to 28 weeks' gestational age."(2) This means that patterns of REM and NREM have been found in infants, suggesting that there is some type of development taking place while in a sleeping state. The study goes on to show that, "Sleep and sleep cycles are essential for the development of the neurosensory and motor systems in the fetus and neonate. They are essential for the creation of memory and long-term memory circuits, and they are essential for the maintenance of brain plasticity over the lifetime of the individual." (2) Suggesting that sleep is essential for positive brain development for the rest of the life of that infant or young adults. It was also noted that any interference with sleep or sleep cycles can significantly hinder the early processes of sensory development. (2). It is clear that sleep is......
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...including, death, health issues, and financial situations (Illusions-of-an-Addict). Statistics say 30% of 6th to 12th graders are asked by a classmate to try drugs (Teenage Peer Pressure). This statistic is an example of how common peer pressure is among the narcotics industry in middle school and high school. Drug addiction is cause by stress, peer pressure, and depression. For instance, high school students are responsible for many different class assignments and they often feel overwhelmed. One student has knowledge of a drug called speed and he or she offers it to his class mates telling them the pros about the drug. The overwhelmed student is persuaded into trying the drug because of all the good things that they’ve heard it can do. They never stop to consider the consequences that the drug may have such as becoming addicted and eventually overdosing (Teenage Peer Pressure). Narcotic overdose can be performed two ways, accidental or intentional (Drug Overdose). Accidental narcotics overdose occurs often in America, from the ages twelve on up. “Deaths from accidental overdoses increased to 19,838 in 2004, from 11,155 in 1999” (Drug Overdose). Drug overdoses take place when a person takes a higher dose of the drug than what a doctor will recommend. Toddlers can swallow drugs by accident because of their curiosity about narcotics they may find laying around their house (R. Goldberg). Most teens who practice abusing narcotics on the regular bases believe taking a stronger......
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...Sleep Paralysis Symone Clayton English Composition 1 Abstract I was a sophomore in High School in New Haven , Michigan when In school I decided to walk home and skip school, my house was empty at the time so I decided to go into my room and take a nap and that’s when it happened for the very first time. I had awakened and I felt this heavy weight on my body and another feeling that I can only describe as if someone is lying on top of me, forcing me down (hence holding my whole body down) holding my lips and eyelids shut. I could hear though. This lasted for about 10 seconds. During these 10 seconds all sorts of thoughts started running through my mind questioning the reality of this phenomenon and even extended to states where I thought I must be dead! Then all of a sudden, my eyelids opened and I could look around I could even see from my peripheral vision that my brother was sleeping. I shouted and shouted but in vain. Within the next minute I had fully awakened and all of a sudden jerked up into a seated position on the bed. This was one of the most horrific and frightening experiences I have ever had. At that time, I didn’t even know what to call this episode I had experienced. I felt quite embarrassed to talk about it in general for a reason I don’t know till today. About six months later I started to do my own researches on the incident which had happened to me. My mother wanted me to start reading the bible more and go see Pastor and they felt it was a......
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You Will Never Sleep with a Woman Who Looks Like That
...You Will Never Sleep With a Woman Who Looks Like That TBD Courtesy of Justin Halpern Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email comment May 15, 2012 Justin Halpern If you discount countless, forgettable chunks of time spent at school, home, and 7-Eleven, I passed most of my waking hours from ages ten through twelve playing baseball and goofing off with friends at the Point Loma Little League fields. Those two adjacent baseball fields were about a mile from my house, and twice a week my team, the San Diego Credit Union Padres, would gather there to practice. "You should just be called the Padres, not all that bullshit about credit unions," my dad said, as he drove me to the field on the opening day of the season when I was eleven years old. "But the credit union pays for us to have a team," I said. "Yeah, well, I pay for you to do everything, and you don't see me making you wear a shirt with my giant goddamned face on it." "That would be a weird shirt," I said. "Please. You wear all kinds of dopey shirts, and — what the fuck am I talking about right here? The shirt's not real, I'm just making a point. You got your gear?" he asked, pulling up to the field. Saturdays were filled with a full lineup of games, all of which the league's players were required to attend, so my parents could drop me off bright and early and then do whatever they wanted all day until my game. The prospect of a morning to himself was very exciting for my dad. "There's a lot of good......
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Quantitative Techniques - a Salesman Makes All Sales in Three Cities X, Y and Z Only. It Is Known That He Visits Each City on a Weekly Basis and Never Visits the Same City in Successive Weeks
...sets on the first-come-first-served basis and if the arrival of sets is with an average rate of 10 per 8-hour day, what is repairman’s expected idle time each day? Also obtain average number of units in the system. 7. What is critical path? State the necessary and sufficient conditions of critical path. Can a project have multiple critical paths? 8. Explain and illustrate the following principles of decision making: a. Laplace b. Maximin c. Maximax d. Hurwicz e. Savage f. Expectation 9. A salesman makes all sales in three cities X, Y and Z only. It is known that he visits each city on a weekly basis and never visits the same city in successive weeks. If he visits city X in a given week, then he visits city Z in next week. However, if he visits city Y or Z, he is twice as likely to visit city X than the other city. Obtain the transition probability matrix. Also determine the proportionate visits by him to each of the cities in the long run. 10. “When it becomes difficult to use an optimization technique for solving a problem, one has to resort to simulation”. Discuss. WE PROVIDE CASE STUDY ANSWERS, ASSIGNMENT SOLUTIONS, PROJECT REPORTS AND THESIS email@example.com ARAVIND - 09901366442 – 09902787224...
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