New York Stories

New York Stories

39 Episodes

From the fiscal crisis of the 1970s to the September 11 attacks twenty years ago to a global pandemic that swept through America’s largest city, New York has seen its share of troubles over the years—but its resilience and vibrancy remain indomitable. Surveying a century of cinematic history, this panoramic celebration of films set in the five boroughs captures the mix of grime, glamour, and anything-can-happen energy that has made the Big Apple an unforgettable canvas for generations of filmmakers. Swoon-inducing romance (THE CLOCK), street-level desperation (THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK), subway snafus (THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE), creative cool (DOWNTOWN 81), racial tension (DO THE RIGHT THING), queer liberation (PARIS IS BURNING), criminal ambition (THE KING OF NEW YORK), immigrant struggle (MAN PUSH CART), and moral education (MARGARET)—these are just some of the eight million stories that make up life in the world’s most exciting city.

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New York Stories
  • King of New York

    Episode 1

    Directed by Abel Ferrara • 1990 • United States
    Starring Christopher Walken, Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso

    Renegade director Abel Ferrara—working in collaboration with his regular screenwriter Nicholas St. John—brings his murky moral worldview and eye for pulp imagery to this kinetic, stylish...

  • Metropolitan

    Episode 2

    Directed by Whit Stillman • 1990 • United States
    Starring Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols

    One of the great American independent films of the 1990s, the surprise hit METROPOLITAN, by writer-director Whit Stillman, is a sparkling comedic chronicle of a young man’s romantic misadven...

  • Paris Is Burning

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jennie Livingston • 1990 • United States
    Starring Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Angie Xtravaganza

    Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African America...

  • Rhythm Thief

    Episode 4

    Directed by Matthew Harrison • 1994 • United States
    Starring Jason Andrews, Eddie Daniels, Kevin Corrigan

    Shot guerrilla-style in a whirlwind eleven days for just $11,000, Matthew Harrison’s edgy, invigorating indie follows Simon (Jason Andrews), a small-time hustler who ekes out a living sellin...

  • Smoke

    Episode 5

    Directed by Wayne Wang • 1995 • United States
    Starring Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Stockard Channing

    Auggie Wren (Harvey Keitel) is the owner of the Brooklyn Cigar Company, a store that he considers the center of the world—a place where all of humanity eventually parades through. Among those in...

  • The Daytrippers

    Episode 6

    Directed by Greg Mottola • 1996 • United States
    Starring Parker Posey, Hope Davis, Liev Schreiber

    With its droll humor and bittersweet emotional heft, the feature debut of writer-director Greg Mottola announced the arrival of an unassumingly sharp-witted new talent on the 1990s indie film scene....

  • Mr. Jealousy

    Episode 7

    Directed by Noah Baumbach • 1997 • United States
    Starring Eric Stoltz, Annabella Sciorra, Chris Eigeman

    Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to his Gen X classic KICKING AND SCREAMING is another incisively witty, articulate exploration of arrested adolescence among the overeducated and underemployed. Leste...

  • Dark Days

    Episode 8

    Directed by Marc Singer • 2000 • United States

    For years, a homeless community took root in a train tunnel beneath New York City, braving dangerous conditions and perpetual night. Marc Singer’s acclaimed documentary explores this surprisingly domestic subterranean world, unearthing a way of life...

  • Downtown 81

    Episode 9

    Directed by Edo Bertoglio • 2000 • United States
    Starring Jean Michel Basquiat, Anna Schroeder, Giorgio Gomelsky

    In 1981, writer and Warhol associate Glenn O’Brien, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, a graffiti innovator and noise-music artist who’d just begun to exhibit...

  • Brother to Brother

    Episode 10

    Directed by Rodney Evans • 2004 • United States
    Starring Anthony Mackie, Roger Robinson, Alex Burns

    Thrown out of his home by his homophobic family, Perry (Anthony Mackie), a young art student, finds strength through his friendship with Bruce Nugent (Roger Robinson), an elderly, homeless writer ...

  • Man Push Cart

    Episode 11

    Directed by Ramin Bahrani • 2005 • United States
    Starring Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, Charles Daniel Sandoval

    A modest miracle of twenty-first-century neorealism, the acclaimed debut feature by Ramin Bahrani speaks quietly but profoundly to the experiences of those living on the margins of the ...

  • Chop Shop

    Episode 12

    Directed by Ramin Bahrani • 2007 • United States
    Starring Alejandro Polanco, Isamar Gonzales, Rob Sowulski

    For his acclaimed follow-up to MAN PUSH CART, Ramin Bahrani once again turned his camera on a slice of New York City rarely seen on-screen: Willets Point, Queens, an industrial sliver of au...

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

    Episode 13

    Directed by Tamra Davis • 2010 • United States

    The brief but bright-burning life of influential artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is vividly recounted in this illuminating documentary directed by the superstar painter’s friend Tamra Davis. Set against the vibrant creative backdrop of New York City in ...

  • Frances Ha

    Episode 14

    Directed by Noah Baumbach • 2013 • United States
    Starring Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner

    Greta Gerwig is radiant as Frances, a woman in her late twenties in contemporary New York trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances, and, above all, her intimate but shifting bond with her best friend, Sop...

  • The Hottest August

    Episode 15

    Directed by Brett Story • 2019 • United States

    A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants, this urgent documentary from Brett Story (THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES) gives us a window into the collective consciousness of the present. The film’s point of departure is New York City, includin...