80 Blocks from Tiffany’s (1979)

Along with Albert Brooks and Tom Schiller, Gary Weis created small movies that were an integral part of the early Saturday Night Live. He also directed The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash and music videos for The Bangles song “Walk Like an Egyptian,” as well George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” and Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.”

This film goes into the day-to-day life of what it was like to be a member of a gang — either the Savage Skulls and Savage Nomads — amidst the end of the world that was 1979 in the South Bronx. The title refers to the distance between this hell on earth and the opulent jewelry store which is much further away than any physical distance between here and the Upper East Side.

Obviously, things have always been bad. I doubt they’ll get better. But let me tell you, as a seven-year-old watching this world on WOR, I really believed the world was about to end. I still feel that way today, perhaps more than ever before.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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