“Live From New York” Film Review


As the preverbal saying goes “In a New York minute”. In the first  one minute opening you immediately get that spontaneous energy from the whirling Dervish injection of creativity along with images, producing tingling memories, that flash before you. This documentary is a living breathing time capsule of life through SNL. It allows  you into the creative process of the 40 year production starting from the embryonic stage in 1974 created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol to the first live airing October 11, 1975. SNL is like an old friend, one who has been there to share your life’s moments . The moments where you belly laughed out loud and cried at the loss of a friend , sharing moments in time . “The times they are a chang’in” and at a time that was politically incorrect  SNL made more of a social commentary for awareness and change than any other medium could.

It was far from the dumbing down of America ( which we have so much of ) but to enlighten America  through the use of  intelligent comedic sketchs created for the masses. The secret was to be rewarded for knowing stuff and not punished for not. “Where there’s humor there’s truth” (Ralph Nader) . Is just one of the reasons for the longevity of the show.  In 1975 there was Vietnam and Watergate and civil unrest , SNL had its finger on the pulse and stayed that way through 1980.  Howard Shore,( musical director) , showcased artists from CBGB’s  (Patti Smith , Blondie for example) to the birthing of hip hop in the Bronx, borough of NY. and around the world. So hip on every level, cutting edge music finally had a platform away from the small clubs in NYC and into your home. Grit and establishment side by side with the established voice of announcer Don Pardo, introducing each week that energetic “Live From NEW YORK! it’sss  Saturday Night Live!!!!!! and you knew you were in for a wild ride. A live treat where anything could and did happen.

Grateful to be part of the studio audience on several occasions through the years,  I would feel the immediacy and intimacy of the behind the scenes mechanisms that worked in synchronic movement where if one cog in the wheel was off by a nanu second, it could effect everything else. Where EVERYONE is necessary till the very end. Now,  that is pressure, that is Live Television at its best. Forty years worth and 787 episodes later SNL is still relevant . A quote from Amy Polar sums up where SNL is now. ” SNL the show your parents used to have sex to, is now the show you watch on your computer during the day”. SNL is tailor made for YouTube for its skit’s like the iconic “Dick in a Box” with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake keeping SNL current . “And so it goes” (Linda Ellerbee).

“Live from New York”  Directed by Bao Nguyen, deftly and seamlessly intertwines archival footage with interviews of pertinent commentary from cast, crew and guests.  “Live from New York” does just that” You are in it ,You are part of it, You are there!” What a triumph! Documentary filmmaking at it’s very Best.   If you watched , SNL 40th yr. television anniversary show and liked it, YOU will laugh out loud and LOVE  “Live From New York”.  It is a must see film ! Maybe multiple times.

Landmark Theatres Engagements begin Friday, June 12, 2015
Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema, One Embarcadero Center, San Francisco (415) 352-0832
Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas, 2230 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley (510) 644-2992

RATED: 4 Honey  👏 🐝


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s