Spike Lee’s new short film is a poignant love letter to NYC

Shot entirely on Super 8, New York, New York is an ode to a deserted city under quarantine.

by Roisin Lanigan
12 May 2020, 11:26am

With most of the world in lockdown, many of us are missing our hometowns or, at least, the family and friends we still have in those places. If his latest release is anything to go by, Spike Lee is certainly not immune to that feeling.

Yesterday the filmmaker dropped a new short on his Instagram account, proving he’s pining for busy, familiar streets as much as the rest of us. The three and a half minute clip, entitled New York, New York, is a love letter to a city under lockdown. Shot entirely on Super 8 and soundtracked by Sinatra’s iconic track of the same name, the film is an eerie journey through New York’s deserted streets, from Coney Island to Wall Street. There’s something strange and sad and beautiful about seeing some of the city’s most annoyingly busy landmarks -- like Yankee Stadium and Grand Central Station -- usually full of tourists with selfie sticks, suddenly devoid of all life. But the effect is more nostalgic and heartfelt than post-apocalyptic.

“My short film New York, New York is a love letter to its people,” the director wrote on Instagram. “Plain and simple.”

Oh to be a sweaty commuter on a delayed L train right now…

spike lee
Super 8