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Film / New York Stories

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Sheldon's mother

New York Stories is a 1989 anthology film; it consists of three shorts with the central theme being New York City, and each short being directed by prominent New York-based film-makers: Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen.

The parts are:

  • "Life Lessons" by Martin Scorsese: A painter struggles with his creative block and with the difficult relationship with his ex, who's still living with him.
  • "Life Without Zoë" by Francis Ford Coppola: Follows a schoolgirl who lives in a luxury hotel and tries to reconcile her parents.
  • "Oedipus Wrecks" by Woody Allen: A man has a difficult and overbearing mother. She ends up as a giant face in the sky (it makes sense in context).


This film provides examples of:

  • Big Applesauce: It's in the title. All three films show the artistic side of the city
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lionel likes to force himself in these relationships to help his art.
  • Magic Realism:"Oedipus Wrecks" is the only of the three stories that features a small fantasy element: After vanishing in a stage magician act, Sheldon's mother appears as a giant face in the sky of New York.
  • Muse Abuse: Lionel derived his artistic energy from the "Life Lessons" with his assistants. He's looking to do the same thing with different assistant at the end of the story.
  • My Beloved Smother: Sheldon's mother, who doesn't approve of his Shiksa Goddess fiance. She becomes an Amazingly Embarrassing Parent when she looms high in the sky, getting all of New York involved in her complaints.
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  • Pop-Star Composer: Procol Harum's "A Lighter Shade of Pale", Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".
  • Shipper on Deck: Sheldon's mother definitely approves of Treva, who makes food as bland as her, and returns to normal after Sheldon hooks up with her. It's hinted the entire thing was her Batman Gambit to get Sheldon to be interested in her pick of partner.


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