Spike Lee has dropped New York New York, a short film and love letter to New York and its people via Instagram.
The three-minute short film is soundtracked by Frank Sinatra’s classic Big Apple ode and was captured on grainy Super 8. From Brooklyn to the Bronx and all Manhattan landmarks in between, Lee presents us with a New Yorker-less and tourist-less metropolitan area under “Stay Home” measures. The director then transitioned into scenes of ambulances and frontline workers handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, followed by a handful of shots showing New York residents cheering and offering support to the frontline workers, and ultimately closing with shots of New York’s most iconic structures.
The scene that felt most compelling was that of an almost ghostly Grand Central Station. A New York landmark that would most often be swarming with people running back and forth, rushing towards their destination was depicted as still, vacant, and almost frigid. Then, Lee perfectly juxtaposed it against testing sites, and hospitals entrances filled with people working endlessly and tirelessly to once again fill the voids of our favorite places. Within minutes Lee poetically emphasizes the condition of our nation.
“My short film New York New York is a love letter to its people. Plain and simple,” Lee said on Instagram, with the filmmaker also thanking Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatara for permission to use the song.
As we eagerly look forward to once again returning to the familiar buzz of our daily lives as New Yorkers and members of the tri-state area, you can watch the full film above!