It was also a low point for the city. The Bronx was burning, crime was rising and city hall was broke. But even as respectable folks fled for the safety of the suburbs, New York became a canvas for talented filmmakers. From “The French Connection” to “Saturday Night Fever,” it posed as the setting of classic films that ushered in a new era of on-screen realism. It was the age of De Niro and Pacino, Scorsese and Lumet, talents who upended the sterile and factory-like approach to making movies that dominated the studio system.
It’s a revolution in filmmaking that’s over. Just as Times Square, the setting of “Taxi Driver,” has been replaced by a fantasyland for tourists, movies