The Ballad of Greenwich Village (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ballad of Greenwich Village (2005)

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THE BALLAD OF GREENWICH VILLAGE is a 70 minute documentary that tells the story of the artists, rebels, and bohemians who came to New York's Greenwich Village over many decades, and changed the face of American culture through their art and politics.The film portrays important political and social movements that started in Greenwich Village - such as the first interracial jazz club, the earliest Socialist newspapers from before World War I, and the Stonewall rebellion that sparked gay liberation.THE BALLAD OF GREENWICH VILLAGE also interweaves on-camera stories from well-known celebrities who got their start in Greenwich Village. Actor/director Tim Robbins speaks about growing up in the Village and going to early protest rallies. Beat poet Allen Ginsberg shows us the coffee house where he first read poetry. Playwright Edward Albee relates stories of how his controversial plays found a venue here. Other stories are told by poet Maya Angelou, author Norman Mailer, jazz drummer Roy Haynes, and folk singers Peter, Paul, & Mary, Judy Collins, and Richie Havens - as well as local Village painters, drag queens, activists, and club owners. Actress Lili Taylor is the narrator.Interweaving past and present, and combining 16mm footage, archival photographs, Hollywood movies, cartoons, stories from people living and dead, famous and obscure - and with a soundtrack ranging from ragtime to bebop to folk music- the film is a celebration of what was America's true bohemia. --© Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Ballad of Greenwich Village

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (7)

You'd think a place renowned for its avant-gardism and its radical chic would receive a less by-the-numbers treatment.

March 24, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Director Karen Kramer, whose labor of love this clearly is, has assembled some remarkable footage.

July 27, 2005 | Rating: 3/4
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

If you've ever harbored a secret wish to jump on one of those Big Apple buses or join a local walking tour, you'll find what you're looking for here.

July 22, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Some revealing historical facts are scattered through Karen Kramer's documentary about Greenwich Village. Most of the film, however, is devoted to sound bites from celebrities who used to live or hang out there.

July 22, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

[A] sometimes entertaining and illuminating, but more often superficial, labor of love.

July 22, 2005 | Rating: 2/4
New York Post
Top Critic

The Ballad of Greenwich Village is a safe movie about a renegade place.

July 21, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4
Newsday
Top Critic

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