Men at Lunch (2013)
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Critic Reviews for Men at Lunch
Regrettably, "Men at Lunch" obsesses over disappearing ghosts instead of the records we already have and the history we should know.
The film feels meandering. Not only does it offer a jumble of ideas that aren't followed through, but it's also structured oddly.
Shots of modern men rebuilding One World Trade Center stirringly evokes the majestic photo's continuing connection to the present.
Men at Lunch loses sight of its lede and fumbles away viewer interest. The photo itself says more than this muddled documentary.
Audience Reviews for Men at Lunch
Men At Lunch is one of interesting documentaries I have ever watched. It's history that we all should respect.
For the record, watching a documentary try and describe New York City while watching it within the city limits is sort of odd but at least we get said descriptions in the dulcet tones of Fionnula Flanagan in the documentary "Men at Lunch." And as maddeningly vague as it is with the identities of the 11 men photographed having lunch on September 20, 1932(two definite and two more probables from Ireland) 800 feet above the ground at the construction site of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, that's not really the point here.(There is a valuable reminder here of the photographers who were also risking life and limb to get those photos, however staged they might have been.) What the documentary is really after and does so in fine form is to salute the work and lives of all of the anonymous ironworkers who still put their lives on the line everyday to build the city.(Of the two Irish workers identified, one died back in Ireland at a ripe old age, the other one not so much in New York City.) So, after the movie was over and I was walking south down Sixth Avenue, I tipped my hat towards the new One World Trade Center and all the workers there.
By indulging (at length) the fantasies of participants who claim connections to the iconic photograph; whether by descent, or heritage, or - most tenuously - by being photographer for a current skyscraper project, the movie undermines the value it could have found by taking a different and deeper approach. Cut to half an hour this might be good filler for The History Channel.
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