The Waldorf to our very own Statler, Ed Koch, here at Pullquote would have to be Elliott Kanbar of the Quad Cinema in New York. Together, these men inhabit those cat-calling balcony seats above the fray with aplomb, dispensing wisdom from on high.
If you don't subscribe to the Quad's weekly email, you're really missing out. Every week, the president of the nation's first multiplex sounds off about whatever's on his mind. Case in point:
I vividly remember renting my first apartment in New York shortly after my required stint in the army. It was apartment 2B at 240 Waverly Place in the heart of Greenwich Village. I had breakfast at the corner cafe, with the most delicious eggs I ever tasted, brought fresh every morning from a nearby Jersey farm. My favorite spot to grab dinner was Chez Brigitte, where Brigitte and her French assistant served the best home-cooked meals. The restaurant is still there but the incomparable Brigitte is long gone. I walked the crooked streets of the Village every day and every day I got lost trying to figure out the illogical patterns. I remember hearing a 16 year-old phenom by ther name of Barbra Streisand make her debut at the Bon Soir on 8th Street (seeing 8th Street now makes me sick). And, of course, in 1972, the QUAD CINEMA opened with almost the entire media predicting that the first multiplex in the U.S. will never work, especially one showing funky, low-budget films.
I bring up these sappy reminiscences after seeing the sensational documentary by Karen Kramer, "THE BALLAD OF GREENWICH VILLAGE", which opens today, July 22nd, at the QUAD.
"[S]appy reminiscences": I love this guy! Especially because there's not always a Quad tie-in to his digressions.[ It's like listening to Joe and Jerry call a Sox game on 'EEI.] For example, this week's email shares "art and film critic" Hal Drucker's top 10 boxing movies.
THE TOP 10 BOXING MOVIES: OK, so "Cinderella Man" is a box office flop. I've always loved boxing films and was pleased when art and film critic Hal Drucker picked his top 10. They are:
BODY AND SOUL. This remains the finest boxing movie ever made. Cinematographer James Wong Howe donned roller skates in the ring to circle the combatants with a hand-held camera. And, there was no Hollywood boxer to surpass John Garfield. None!
CHAMPION. A young Kirk Douglas brilliantly played a brutal boxer, but I felt Arthur Kennedy made this a great movie.
RAGING BULL. Enough said about this one. Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarity were outstanding co-starring with Oscar-winner DeNiro.
CINDERELLA MAN. Didn't succeed at the box office but history will remember this as one of the best boxing films ever made. Zellweger slightly miscast. Too waspish!
THE HARDER THEY FALL. Looking sickly and frail, Humphrey Bogart gave the performance of his life. It was also his last film before dying at age 55.
SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME. A memorable film if only to remind us how thrilling those two Rocky Graziano-Tony Zale fights were back then.
REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT. Taking a little liberty here by including a TV film on the list. It was a live Playhouse 90 production written by Rod Serling and starring a virile Jack Palance. Doesn't get any better.
THE GREAT WHITE HOPE. If you want to know what a powerful actor James Earl Jones really is, rent this video.
ROCKY. In making this film and starring in it, Sylvestor Stallone gave new meaning to the word "underdog".
GOLDEN BOY. A Clifford Odets classic of a talented violinist who become a prizefighter. A young William Holden, in his movie debut, often thanked his more experienced co-star, Brabara Stanwyck, for being so "nice" to him.
Yep, it's always a one-two punch with Elliott.