Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch

The death penalty, New York City on the verge of bankruptcy, “Ford to New York: Drop Dead,” the black out of the summer of ’77, massive looting, Son of Sam, the closing of the Sydenham Hospital, the alienation of the black community, rumors of being gay, alienation of the gay community over his response, or lack thereof, to the AIDS crisis, “How am I doing?,” Bella Abzug, Bess Meyerson, Charles Rangle, Al Sharpton, Mario Cuomo, “Vote for Cuomo not the homo,” and many other incidents and personalities all provide for a no holds barred, nostalgic, wild ride of a portrait of former, larger than life, New York City mayor Ed Koch who represented the rough and tumble of the city during the 70s and 80s.”   

“Koch” has been brilliantly put together with generous amounts of stock footage, newsreel footage, stills, newspaper headlines and interviews with those who were there, journalists and politicians, plus amazingly candid interviews with the subject himself.  The late mayor, who participated fully in this documentary (and who died on the day this film was released) was well into his eighties, feisty and unapologetic about his political career.  He admits he made mistakes, but fed off of being frank, down to earth and always in the spotlight.

“Koch” is an historical, nostalgic, funny, fast paced portrait of, as one interviewee puts it, a man who “was one hell of a personality.”

“Koch” is playing locally at Angelika Film Center, 18 West Houston Street.

Koch” director Neil Barsky, 2012,

Zeitgeist Films, 100 minutes


About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on March 4, 2013, in Documentary, New and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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