Member Profile | FocusFeatures.com
Made in Brooklyn: A Slide show of films about Brooklyn
Posted October 05, 2010 to photo album "Made in Brooklyn: A Slide show of films about Brooklyn"
For directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, filming It’s Kind of a Funny Story in Brooklyn was essential to the story. It was a choice many filmmakers before them made as well.
Half Nelson (2006) | Red Hook
Six years before they made the Focus Features film It’s Kind of a Funny Story, writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s film Gowanus, Brooklyn won the Short Filmmaking Award at the Sundance Film Festival. While they changed the title to Half Nelson when they adapted that short to a feature film three years later, the story never lost its Brooklyn roots. The tale about the relationship between a drug-addicted teacher (Ryan Gosling) and his student (Shareeka Epps) was poignant and very real. Shot in such Brooklyn neighborhoods as Red Hook, East New York and Fort Greene, the film also cast many locals in bit parts. In praising the film, critic Emanuel Levy notes how Fleck, in paying careful attention to landscape and livelihood, “sidesteps the tendency to portray ghetto life with flashy, movie-inspired techniques. Instead, he has boldly made a more realistic film that captures in detail black working-class existence in a rundown Brooklyn neighborhood,” as well as working with cinematographer Andrij Parekh to find a “probing yet intimate style, showing the unique Brooklyn landscape with its low buildings and open spaces.”