LE CIRQUE: A TABLE IN HEAVEN (54' or 74')
DIRECTED BY ANDREW ROSSI
Since 1974, Le Cirque has been one of the world's most celebrated restaurants, entertaining dignitaries, artists, celebrities and New York's social elite. An intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the ups and downs of the iconic restaurant, LE CIRQUE: A TABLE IN HEAVEN follows owner Sirio Maccioni and his three sons from the shuttering of Le Cirque at the Palace Hotel following a 2004 New Year's Eve bash, through preparations for the eatery's celebrated rebirth in New York's Bloomberg Tower two years later.
LE CIRQUE: A TABLE IN HEAVEN is an intimate family portrait of Le Cirque founder Sirio Maccioni, Egidiana, his wife and confidant of 40 years, and their three sons, to whom he will one day leave his formidable cultural and culinary legacy. While other restaurants have big money and corporations behind them, Sirio says Le Cirque "is a family affair and completely independent."
Sirio Maccioni pioneered a new style of dining in the 1980s, combining four-star food with the celebrity-charged ambience usually found in night clubs. Today, the Maccioni sons are trying to apply the same formula to a younger generation of celebrities with different tastes.
Capturing family members in their most revealing moments, the documentary explores the challenges of reinventing the legendary restaurant, the conflicts between the two generations of Maccionis and the enduring allure of gourmet simplicity.
Among the boldface names seen dining at the restaurant are Cindy Adams, Tony Bennett, Robert De Niro, Rudolph Giuliani, Billy Joel, Henry Kissinger, Regis Philbin, Nancy Reagan, Liz Smith, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump and Vera Wang.
Sirio Maccioni's journey to America is a classic immigrant story. Born on a farm in Montecatini, Italy, near some of the best hotels in the world, he began working as a busboy at age 13 to help support the family after his father died in a World War II bombing. Eventually, Sirio came to America as a waiter on a cruise ship and rose through the ranks of New York's finest restaurants. In 1974, he opened Le Cirque and the dining in NY never was the same again.
More information at: http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/lecirque/
EAT THIS NEW YORK (60' or 90')
DIRECTED BY ANDREW ROSSI
EAT THIS NEW YORK is the story of two best friends' struggle to open a restaurant in the food capital of the world. As Billy Phelps and John McCormick suffer through financial crisis, the loss of their chef, and a crumbling relationship, the filmmakers turn the camera on New York City's legendary restaurateurs who prove that dreams can come true.
Billy and John's gamble to open a restaurant together takes shape on Division Street, a unique block in Brooklyn that separates the Satmar Jewish community of Williamsburg from the Latino neighborhood of the South Side. During the course of a year, they convert a former check-cashing shop located under the elevated train tracks of the J/M/Z subway lines into a retro speakeasy. But before the restaurant is fully built they come close to bankruptcy and almost call it quits on their friendship.
Throughout the movie, New York City's renowned restaurateurs and chefs reflect on the challenges of opening and running a restaurant. Like the chorus of a Greek play, Daniel Boulud, Sirio Maccioni, Keith McNally, Drew Nieporent, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Danny Meyer act as a foil to the idealistic entrepreneurs.