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Showing posts from May, 2019

Village and Tribe

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I’ve always remembered 1984’s The Pope of Greenwich Village as a pretty good Mickey Rourke movie since I first saw it fifteen years or so ago. Revisiting it this past week, however, I realized that I was wrong: The Pope of Greenwich Village is great and maybe even one of the best movies of the eighties. Adapted by screenwriter Vincent Patrick from his novel, the film is the story of aspiring restauranteur Charlie (Rourke) and how his stupid and insane cousin Paulie (Eric Roberts) is always getting him into trouble. On a more universal level, it tells a story about the importance of family, tribe, and community.

Casual prejudices and in-group preferences infuse the air that these characters breathe, with tribe all the more important and central to their lives in the multicultural context of New York City, where racial and ethnic differences in close proximity carry a much more urgent significance. An Irishman, for instance, worries that his neighborhood might “go colored…