Pretend It’s a City: love letter to New York ★★★★

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Author and ironist Fran Lebowitz puts her thoughts to light in this Netflix documentary series shot just before the pandemic. Under the mode of a brilliant digression, the intellectual and socialite delivers her incisive observations to Martin Scorsese. Everything goes there: culture and real estate, the #metoo movement and Andy Warhol, millennials and city life. But above all, his intimate and visceral relationship with New York.

Posted on January 15, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.

Luc BoulangerLuc Boulanger

After Public Speaking in 2010, director Martin Scorsese had the good idea to remake a documentary with his friend, Fran Lebowitz, based on his thoughts on culture, society and his love for his adopted city: New York. The result is rewarding!

For seven episodes, we follow with pleasure Fran Lebowitz in his walks in the streets of Manhattan (if you like the Big Apple, you will be served by the magnificent images of this city before the pandemic). But above all, we savor his words, like a rare nectar.

Because this intellectual, in 50 years of public life, has always said what she really thinks. No matter the subject, the time or the audience, she expresses herself freely, without jargon; and without trying to please trendy thinkers, on the right and on the left.

Fran Lebovitz likes to argue. In his eyes, a conversation is first and foremost a verbal jousting with his interlocutor. For her, the important thing is not to be right, like too many of our contemporaries who cling to their opinion like a buoy. But to sharpen his thought, to polish it to make it shine like a diamond.


Pretend It’s a City, by Martin Scorsese, starring Fran Lebowitz

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Bulimic reader, Fran Lebowitz believes that “books are not mirrors, but doors” to help us discover universes larger than the reality that surrounds us. At a time when thought is more and more gregarious, where everyone must choose their ideological camp, the observations of this fiercely independent intellectual are a balm on the reluctance of the present time.

On Netflix


Pretend It’s a City (VF : If it was a city). SDocumentary series by Martin Scorsese. With Fran Lebowitz, Spike Lee, Olivia Wilde, Alec Baldwin. 210 minutes.

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