New York in the Fifties

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New York City has long been one of the cultural capitals of the world, and as the United States would go through a period of personal, political, and artistic tumult in the 1960s, the first waves of this shift in America's attitudes were felt in New York in the 1950s. New York in the Fifties is a documentary, adapted from the book of the same name by Dan Wakefield, that looks back at life in the Big Apple as beat poetry, free jazz, and new movements in abstract art began to change the way people expressed their creativity, while the embrace of psychoanalysis, new openness about sexual expression, and the first stirring of the women's movement redefined the manner in which they examined both others and themselves. Along with period newsreel footage, New York in the Fifties features interviews with a number of well-known artists and thinkers, who share their thoughts and memories on this pivotal time, including Gay Talese, Robert Redford, Nat Hentoff, William F. Buckley, Joan Didion, and Steve Allen. Author Wakefield also lends his perspective.

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