Three of the most talented directors in Hollywood shoot short films about New York City

By Chris Nashawaty
May 11, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

New York Stories

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Three iconic directors, three short films about Gotham. That’s the conceit behind New York Stories (1989, PG, 1 hr., 48 mins.), a collection just out on Blu-ray with vignettes by Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Woody Allen. I love all three filmmakers, but only Scorsese sticks the landing with his chapter, ”Life Lessons,” starring Nick Nolte as a painter obsessed with his assistant (Rosanna Arquette). Nolte’s as gruff as a cornered grizzly, and Scorsese seems to be having a blast, pouring on stylistic tricks as he cranks up Procol Harum’s ”A Whiter Shade of Pale.” It may be a short film, but nothing about it feels slight. A-

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