Men at Lunch
67 minutes, documentary, color, 2012
A film by Seán Ó Cualáín
Special Features • Five bonus shorts: The 1929 Crash • Rockefeller Center • Joe Woolhead on September 11, 2001 • The Inspiration of 'Lunch atop a Skyscraper' • Ric Burns on 'Lunch atop a Skyscraper'
New York City, 1932. The country is in the throes of the Great Depression, the previous decade's boom of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants has led to unprecedented urban expansion, and in the midst of an unseasonably warm autumn, steelworkers risk life and limb building skyscrapers high above the streets of Manhattan.
In Men at Lunch, director Seán Ó Cualáín tells the story of "Lunch atop a Skyscraper," the iconic photograph taken during the construction of Rockefeller Center that depicts eleven workmen taking their lunch break while casually perched along a steel girder boots dangling 850 feet above the sidewalk, Central Park and the misty Manhattan skyline stretching out behind them.
For 80 years, the identity of the eleven men and the photographer that Immortalized them remained a mystery: their stories, lost in time, subsumed by the fame of the image itself. But then, at the start of the 21st century, the photograph finally began to give up some of its secrets. Part homage, part investigation, Men at Lunch is the sublime tale of an American icon, an unprecedented race to the sky and the immigrant workers that built New York.
“The documentary invites the viewer to meditate on that moment. 'Men at Lunch' solves some of the puzzle created during a New York autumn when Babe Ruth's Yankees were winning the World Series and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was winning the presidency.” - The New York Times
"Part detective story, part homage to the American immigrant experience and, ultimately, a tribute to the simple dignity of hard work, 'Men at Lunch' examines the mysteries behind one of the most recognizable images of the 20th century: eleven men casually perched atop a steel beam hundreds of feet above Manhattan.” - Time Magazine
"A fascinating journey. Ó Cualáín's photographic detective work is both evocative and eloquently effective.” - Screen Daily
"'Men at Lunch' is infectiously and unabashedly uplifting as it celebrates the American immigrant experience...placing those laborers and the products of their labor in a vividly evoked historical context.” - Variety
"A loving tribute to the famed 1932 'Lunch atop a Skyscraper' photograph that, according to image repository Corbis, remains the most valuable in the world. Shots of modern men rebuilding One World Trade Center stirringly evokes the majestic photo's continuing connection to the present.” - The Village Voice
"A stirring and inventive look into the mystery and origin of the famous 1932 photograph. Delicious!” - New York Daily News
To Purchase: http://firstrunfeatures.com/home_video_dvd.html
UPC: 7-20229-91577-9 | Catalog #: FRF 915779D | SRP: $24.95 | Street Date: December 3