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Koch: sharp-elbowed, cantankerous New York mayor Ed Koch documentary

Meet me in front of the box office; Buy tickets from me for $7 (group discount).  We'll see the movie as a group, and perhaps walk to grab a snack after the movie.

This movie should be a good portrait of an interesting man, and for those of interested in cities, a history of New York in the 1980s, when it was such a downtrodden, crime-ridden snarl.  (Downtown Pasadena was also in a similar condition during the same period).



Former Mayor Ed Koch is the quintessential New Yorker. Still ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, the now 87-year-old Koch ruled New York from 1978 to 1989-a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted an intimate and revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan, and the town he helped transform. The tumult of his three terms included a fiercely competitive 1977 election; an infamous 1980 transit strike; the burgeoning AIDS epidemic; landmark housing renewal initiatives; and an irreparable municipal corruption scandal. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world's most wondrous city in a time of upheaval and reinvention.


Critic Reviews
  • Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

    Though the film, more than two years in the making, was never intended as such, it plays like the kind of eulogy Koch would have approved - neither fawning nor eviscerating but always compelling.

  • Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

    The film advances no theories to explain his contradictions, only a thrilling, sometimes affecting account of what he did.

  • Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

    "How'm I doin'?" Koch famously asked anyone and everyone he passed by, rarely hanging around for the answer. In "Koch," for the most part, he does all right.

  • Rafer Guzman, Newsday

    "Koch" is a treasure trove of little moments that illuminate a famously cantankerous, sharp-elbowed, showboating personality.

  • Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

    A highlight-to-lowlight chronicle of the man's three terms as mayor, and in the case of any other mayor, such a narrow focus might have seemed reductive.

  • Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

    I wish other questions had been asked, and pushed, and a lot more context provided.

  • Annlee Ellingson, Paste Magazine

    Barsky gained Koch's cooperation on the film -- the filmmaker interviewed his subject extensively -- yet his portrait of the man shows both his good and bad sides.

  • Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle

    The former mayor is an alert onscreen presence, but the film surrounding him is not always so lively.

  • Kam Williams,

    The rise and fall from grace of a good Jewish boy gone bad who ostensibly sold out the Big Apple but never summoned up the courage to come out of the closet.

  • Jordan Hoffman, Badass Digest

    Even if he stomped on your special interest you can't deny that he did it with a sui generis verve that mixed region-specific curmudgeon-ism and impish joie de vivre

  • Robert Levin, amNewYork

    A thoughtful look at the fundamental reasons a down-and-out city was primed to embrace this larger-than-life cheerleader for all things Gotham.


Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    We're going inside

    March 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just started working Sun-Thurs, so I cannot make Sunday shows :(

    March 2, 2013

  • Wendy

    Sorry cannot go too many papers to grade!

    March 2, 2013

1 went

  • A former member

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