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Volume 6, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1751-4193
  • E-ISSN: 1751-4207



This article examines the ways in which ‘jazz musicals’ and their soundtracks were implicated in urban history in terms of production (shooting in studios or on location) and representation (the relationship between cities and their cinematic musical accompaniment). It situates the relationship between jazz and urban representation in the Hollywood musical in the context of the decline and transformation of New York after World War II. While musicals were overwhelming set in cities, and especially New York, the genre’s artificial, anti-realist settings became increasingly out of step with the city’s reality as it entered a long period of urban decline. The article focuses on New York, New York (Scorsese, 1977) arguing that the film’s depiction of jazz and treatment of the musical genre was shaped by the wider context of the expansion of location shooting in the 1970s as well as what Miriam Greenberg has called New York’s ‘image crisis’.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): cinematic city; jazz; Martin Scorsese; New Hollywood; New York; the musical
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