New York Street Games – the movie

Now, on DVD, New York Street Games – the movie.

 Here’s what they say about it:

“Narrated by Hector Elizondo, with stories from Keith David, C. Everett Koop, Joe ‘Joey Pants’ Pantoliano, Regis Philbin, Ray Romano, Curtis Sliwa, Mike Starr and many more…New York Street Games captures a special time in American history. From Boxball to Ring-o-leavio to Skully, the film addresses the social and cultural importance of these games and the sense of community they engendered.

And here’s what I say:

For anybody who actually played street games, for parents, for school administrators and community organizers, this movie is a call to action.

For anybody who loves street games, and has tried to share their love with others – like people who put together the remarkable Street Play website – the movie is a welcome validation. You get to learn or be reminded about games that maybe you played, maybe your parents played – games that were a cornerstone of city culture, that continued a tradition documented by Breughel in a painting he completed in 1560 – and that have all been abandoned by the Nintendo-era children of cocooned, and often excessively litigious parents.

And for those of us who just like listening to famous people reminisce about the significance of all the fun they used to have, when the streets were open to children and the children were free to play, New York Street Games – the movie is as moving as it is entertaining. It’s touching watching those famous grown-ups – actors, politicians, the former surgeon general – get nostalgic about the way they used to play, their faces alight in the afterglow of all those bygone joys.

And it’s inspiring, seeing some people who are keeping the old games alive; inspiring getting to be reminded about what we’ve all almost lost, and yet could so very easily bring back into our lives, and the lives of our children.

And, in case you want to do something about it:

“Every DVD purchase includes a valuable Street Games Rulebook. The rulebook is filled with fun and physically active games your can kids can play with you and with friends. They are easily learned and require little equipment – in most cases just a ball and some chalk.”

New York Street Games is a beautifully crafted documentary that could move you and all the people you show it to right out of the living room, away from all that 50″ plasmatic spectacle, all the way to the very street they live on.

from Bernie DeKoven,

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