Cinematic Atlas: A Guide to Martin Scorsese's New York

World Famous Deli (Bringing Out the Dead, 1999)

Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
Address700 10th Avenue

Even though Bringing Out the Dead is the most recent film discussed here, its locations are no less susceptible to time and change. Because the film so effectively puts the viewer inside Frank's mind, the scene where he finally gets a day off breaks over the viewer with the same calming effect it has on the protagonist. The camera moves gracefully, coolly, as Frank stands at the corner near the World Famous Deli. He turns and walks down 49th Street, allowing the viewer a moment to breathe after the excess of the film's first hour or so.

A new deli, shinier and less like the bodega Frank stands near, has opened at the corner. Large panes of thick glass have replaced the neon-outlined windows of the original store. Neon figures prominently in Scorsese's New York. Lately his eye has strayed to other parts of the world: Los Angeles for The Aviator (2004) and Boston for The Departed (2006). A new film, Silence, will be set in Japan. To lure him back, New York might need to paint itself sloppy with neon and trash. Maybe if the city stops tidying itself, Scorsese will return, overcome with nostalgia for the old days.

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