Birdman, the 2015 Best Picture Academy Award winner was shot in New York City, telling the story of a washed up superhero actor played by Michael Keaton, looking to make his comeback in a play he has written, directed and starred in based on Raymond Carver’s short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Throughout the film, he is haunted by the voice of Birdman, the superhero that made him famous. Though the film appears to be one single long, tracking shot, director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki cleverly and skillfully wove together long filming segments, the longest at 15 minutes, most around 10 minutes. Here are the locations used in the film, all around New York City’s Theater District and Times Square:
The gals of Broad City are back, providing a refreshing anti-dote to Girls. Last season, we charted the NYC film locations of the show and dug into some hard-to-find spots requested by readers of Untapped Cities. Keep checking back regularly as we add new locations as new episodes come in. Bonus: Many of the locations have video clips too!
It’s been a while since our last Untapped Mailbag in which we answer questions from readers, submitted via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail. But we received quite a challenge from reader Hanna, who wanted to know which restaurant was featured in the season 1 finale of Broad City on Comedy Central. Nearly the entire episode, entitled “The Last Supper,” takes place in inside, where the main characters Abbi and Ilana head to the fictional “Octavia,” a fancy restaurant for Abbi’s birthday. Ilana gets a near fatal allergy to seafood and Abbi accidentally injects herself with the Epipen. We usually send these queries to our team at Untapped Cities and collectively try to hunt down answers.
On a recent OHNY tour of the Greenpoint Oil Spill Remediation Project run by ExxonMobil and the Newtown Creek Alliance, we were also shown Broadway Stages, a film studio within the spill zone. The buildings in this area of Newtown Creek were once home to 50 oil refineries, tanneries, gas plants, metal manufacturers and other businesses, and an extensive oil spill underground is the result of a century of accumulated contamination. The oil companies were eventually consolidated, but of the buildings in the area were unused and certain stretches lacked basic infrastructure–like sewers, electricity and sidewalks. Moreover, the streets were used essentially as dump sites.
Broadway Stages came in to change that, and with the partnership of ExxonMobile, who has sought to be a good neighbor during the remediation process, installed lights and created sidewalks. In 2010, the road was paved for the first time in 50 years. Broadway Stages is now one of the largest film production companies in New York City, with shows like The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and Royal Pains filmed there.
The Lower East Side was transformed into 1900 NYC. Photo by Mary Cybulski/Cinemax
When Steven Soderbergh retired from directing movies last year he announced that “movies don’t matter anymore.” Fans of the director’s work were stunned. Since 1989 with his first independent feature Sex, Lies and Videotape; Soderbergh has been one of the few directors in cinema who has truly kept audiences guessing his next move. Almost two years into his “retirement” there is no word of Soderbergh returning to the cinema. To some, that might be viewed as a bad sign; Soderbergh, however, has not been laying dormant. On the contrary, since “retiring” he has been working constantly. He became very active on Twitter, in the most Soderbergh-y way possible, making a novella titled GLUE; he has spliced together both versions of Psycho, and, even more bizarrely awesome, he re-edited Spielberg’s Raiders of The Lost Ark, transforming it into a black and white silent film.
He has done all of this, including directing an off-Broadway play, getting into the liquor business and once again finding himself in the director’s chair. Soderbergh’s return to the set was not for a feature, or even for a TV film. Perhaps inspired by the work of Cary Fukunaga on True Detective, Soderbergh decided to do something similar and direct every episode of a project he come across called The Knick. Soderbergh directs (as well as edits under his pseudonym Mary Anne Bernard ) every episode of the series first season, which follows the life and exploits of Dr. John Tackery, head surgeon of The Knickerbocker Hospital and its staff in 1900 New York City.
Babette’s, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks on set at Boardwalk Empire. Image by Abbot Genser/HBO
Being on Boardwalk Empire is like being in a sauna–with all your clothes on–says the award-winning bandleader Vince Giordano from Boardwalk Empire. The hit HBO series, which is now in its fifth and final season, stars Steve Buscemi as the anti-hero bootlegger Nucky Thomson, who is trying to stay alive as his adversaries aim to increase their share of the spoils.