Context and a Movie: "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oscar Isaac (left) and Justin Timberlake in a scene from Inside Llewyn Davis. Oscar Isaac (left) and Justin Timberlake in a scene from Inside Llewyn Davis. (Alison Rosa/Courtesy of the artist)

Dana Stevens, Slate's film critic and co-host of Slate's Culture Gabfest (now airing on WNYC) and Elijah Wald, writer, musician and co-author of The Mayor of MacDougal Street (Da Capo Press, 2006), discuss the Coen brothers’ new movie "Inside Llewyn Davis" and take your calls on Greenwich Village back in the day.


Dana Stevens and Elijah Wald

Comments [9]

Lynne from Lower Manhattan

I remember coming down from the Bronx one night with some friends to see Dave Von Ronk at the Gaslight Café. Bob Dylan was sitting at a table alone at the back. Must've been about 1963. After the show, we followed Dylan down Minetta Lane on our way to the IND subway to go back home to Mosholu Parkway.

Dec. 11 2013 01:24 PM
Betty from Upper West Side

I hung out in the Village after I graduated from college in 1961 and moved there in 1962. I first saw Bob Dylan perform at a concert in a public school where Phil Ochs was the featured singer. No one believes this, but Dylan was pudgy then. And of course he sang in that weird voice. Despite appealing to neither my ears nor eyes, I had a strong urge to put him in my pocket and take him home.
The drummer for The Blacks used to make booty calls - the most intimacy either of us were capable of. I was shunned by the old-time residents of my building who disapproved of my consorting with a black man.
My friends and I danced at the Feenjon every night except Friday. Friday nights were saved for dancing belly to belly in a packed bar on Park Row and Pearl St where artists hung out.
Lots of us gathered regularly at an apt on Ave A with musicians like Llewelyn Davis, one of whom went on to lead a cult in Cambridge.

Dec. 11 2013 01:23 PM
Ron Raphael from flatiron district,New york

I remember the times that I spent down in Greenwich Village. At first,I went there merely to play chess on Sullivan Street. I quickly discovered that was not the only thing to learn there, as I discovered Mcdougal Street and Bleeker Streets. Cafe Figaro'S on one side of the street andd the Borgia on the other.Soon, I learned to appreciate the folk music that came from many coffee houses a long Mcdougal Street played by the Clancy brothers and Tommy Makem and Judy Collins, to name a few. I,also, enjoed the fact that people were free to be people and spoke to one an other, though they did not know to whom they were voicing their thoughts.


Dec. 11 2013 01:16 PM
Ben from Westchester

Wow! A caller ("Ralph") just called in and talked of hanging out in the Cafe Rienzi, a long forgotten space on MacDougal Street.

My dad was an owner of the Rienzi! I heard so many stories about it growing up.

Technically, the cafe was a socialist collective of some sort, so dad was one of many owners who took turns managing and then would go to Europe for a month or two. But it was nice to hear the name and the stories again.

Miss you, dad. Thanks, WNYC.

Dec. 11 2013 11:56 AM
ej from nyc

It would be interesting sociology study to look at how communities in Brooklyn, particularly, Prospect Heights and Park Slope have developed today much like the West Village of yore. However, I think there would be a key difference in that the BK communities never reconciled into the larger consumerists/market culture of NYC at large. As such, I think very different liberal/artistic and leftist beliefs have developed.

Dec. 11 2013 11:51 AM
Alison from manhattan

I saw the movie this weekend (I don't get to the movies often) and I LOVED it - the story, the dialog, the acting, the cinematography, the MUSIC!!! Those CATS! EVERYTHING - another great COHEN BROS film - thank goodness for these directors! (And i got a CD, to boot!!) Have been humming that tune for days! Hang me oh hang me......

Dec. 11 2013 11:48 AM
Doxie from Manahata

I remember the old French Figaro newspapers used as wallpaper and the slightly suggestive grafitti in the toilets at the " old" Cafe Figaro, as apposed to it's later, brief resurrection. This was pre teenybopper Village. That specific crossroad of McDougal & Bleecker streets was a was a wonderful Italian neighborhood. In my recollection there weren't many "White Folkies" in the cafe's as much as Black Jazz and Folk performers such as Nina Simone and Leon Bibb.

Dec. 11 2013 11:07 AM

Back in the day...So much has passed including my parents and the Village as we knew it.
I remember as a teenager, we lived on Sullivan Street, I would enter Gurde's briefly to smoke a ciggy since no one in the nabe would tell my mom. I sat down, the room was largely empty while a young woman was rehearsing, and I thought she sounded great. I muttered "she good" or something because the guy in front of me turned and said "ya , she's good" with a wry smile. It was Dylan and on stage was Baez.

Dec. 11 2013 10:59 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Nice to see people paying attention again to the late great Dave Van Ronk, but I thought the movie was dull and meandering. Then again, I thought "The Big Lebowski" was meandering until I saw it for the second time and then I got it.

Dec. 11 2013 10:34 AM

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