For this week’s Female Filmmaker Friday I’ve chosen a film I first saw on TCM during A Year With Women, and that I have subsequently re-watched many, many times: Joan Micklin Silver’s Crossing Delancey. The film is based on a play by Susan Sandler, who also wrote the screenplay. Much like Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan, this film captures an era and place in New York City that no longer exists. Featuring a score by the Roches, much of the film takes place in the Lower East Side. This article does a great job of breaking down the changes that have happened in the last thirty years to that neighborhood. There be spoilers after the cut.
Izzy: Thanks so much for coming tonight. I felt so clumsy the other day.
Sam: It was an awkward situation, Mrs. Mandelbaum setting it up like that. I should have spoken to you on my own the first time I saw you.
Izzy: When was that?
Sam: The first time? About three and a half years ago, I think.
Sam: In the neighborhood. On the benches with your bubbie. Around.
Sam: Then one day, Mrs. Mandelbaum comes by the store does her usual spiel. Shows me her pictures, tells her lies. “This one’s 18, a scholar. This one’s 22, a beauty.” Some of these pictures were taken before the flashbulb was invented. But it’s like this little ritual we have. She has a business and I respect that. I’m a bachelor. She can’t help herself.
Izzy: Wait a minute. You mean, you didn’t hire her?
Sam: No. But on this particular day she pulled this from her bag.
Izzy: Oh, no.
Sam: And I said, “Yes, Mrs. Mandelbaum this one I’ll meet.”
Gitl: Goodbye. Go in good health.
Bernstein: Goodbye to the boy.
Gitl: May you have a boy of your own one day.
Bernstein: From your mouth to God’s ear. To have a son, a man must have a wife.
Gitl: A wife you can get.
Bernstein: To whom would that I ask? What if she would say no?
Gitl: What if she would say yes?
Firstly, apologies for the unintended hiatus of this feature. It should be back in full force for the rest of the year. This week I’m going to take a brief look at Joan Micklin Silver’s Hester Street, which earned Carol Kane a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 1975.