A New Leaf with Crossing Delancey in 35mm

A New Leaf with Crossing Delancey in 35mm

A New Leaf 
Daughter of Yiddish theater stars Jack and Ida Berlin, Elaine May began her career in the late 1950s opposite Mike Nichols in their groundbreaking improv comedy team, Nichols and May. After several film roles, May would break further ground directing several movies for major studios, the first of which, A New Leaf, would make her the first woman to write, direct, and star in her own feature. A pitch-black screwball co-starring a hilariously deplorable Walter Matthau as a newly broke socialite, the picture was added to the National Film Registry in 2019 for the massive significance of May’s trailblazing achievement.

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: Elaine May. WITH: Walter Matthau, Elaine May, Jack Weston, George Rose. 1971. 102 min. USA. Color. English. Rated G. DCP. 

Crossing Delancey 
Chronicling the tension between tradition and independence, Crossing Delancey finds Isabelle Grossman (Amy Irving, whose family was of Russian Jewish descent), a single, 30-something New Yorker, indulging her Jewish grandmother’s (Yiddish theater actor Reizl Bozyk) attempts at matchmaking while excelling at her uptown publishing gig. Director Joan Micklin Silver was one of the few women to make independent films in the 1970s, including her deeply personal Hester Street (1975), and successfully pivoted to studio success with this delightful rom-com. Though the film was initially considered too “ethnic” by the studio, Irving’s then-partner Steven Spielberg pushed Warner Bros. to commit to distributing this sweet picture.  

DIRECTED BY: Joan Micklin Silver. WRITTEN BY: Susan Sandler. WITH: Amy Irving, Peter Riegert, Jeroen Krabbé, Reizl Bozyk. 1988. 97 min. USA. Color. English. Rated PG. 35mm. 

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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