Fun City Cinema

New York City and the Movies that Made It


A visual history of 100 years of filmmaking in New York City, featuring exclusive interviews with NYC filmmakers


ISBN: 9781419747816 Category:

Jason Bailey


Fun City Cinema gives readers an in-depth look at how the rise, fall, and resurrection of New York City was captured and chronicled in ten iconic Gotham films across ten decades: The Jazz Singer (1927), King Kong (1933), The Naked City (1948), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Taxi Driver (1976), Wall Street (1987), Kids (1995), 25th Hour (2002), and Frances Ha (2012). A visual history of a great American city in flux, Fun City Cinema reveals how these classic films and legendary filmmakers took their inspiration from New York City’s grittiness and splendor, creating what we can now view as “accidental documentaries” of the city’s modes and moods.

In addition to the extensively researched and reported text, the book includes both historical photographs and ephemera, as well as still-frames, behind-the-scenes photos, production materials from each film and original interviews with Noah Baumbach, Larry Clark, Greta Gerwig, Walter Hill, Jerry Schatzberg, Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, Oliver Stone, and Jennifer Westfeldt. Extensive “Now Playing” sidebars spotlight a handful of each decade’s additional films of note.

Additional information

Weight 1737 g
Dimensions 23.7 x 28.3 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 28 October 2021
Number of pages 352
Format Hardback
Contributors Foreword by Matt Zoller Seitz
Dimensions 23.7 x 28.3 cm
Weight 1737 g


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Jason Bailey is a film critic and historian. A graduate of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and the former film editor of Flavorwire, his work has appeared in the New York Times, Vulture, Slate, VICE, the Atlantic, Salon, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Playlist, The Dissolve, and Crooked Marquee. He lives in the Bronx with his wife and two daughters. Fun City Cinema is his fifth book.

Matt Zoller Seitz is an editor at large for; the TV critic for New York magazine; the author of The Wes Anderson Collection, The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Oliver Stone Experience, and Mad Men Carousel; and the coauthor of The Sopranos Sessions. He is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and New York City.