CITY ISLAND: BOXING WITH ANDY GARCIA AND STEVEN STRAIT
Today's clip shows Andy and Steven working in the yard together and ends with an impromptu boxing match. Again, a nice bit of work that won't find it's way into the finished film, so I'm dumping it into the blogosphere. In a sense, this blog is becoming the film's "trimbim"--a parking lot for all the little things that otherwise would have been abandoned along with the harddrives when the editing is completed.
Within this scene, as you'll see, is the explanation of what makes City Islander's so unique: the insistence that to be considered a true local, you need to have been born on the Island. This makes you a "clam-digger" in their parlance. If you simply pick up and move to City Island from somewhere else, you're a "muscle-sucker". This point was made in the New York Times article which first brought this strange and lovely place to my attention. I dutifully wove it into the script but somehow didn't quite believe that the locals went around talking about themselves this way. I was surprised to discover that in fact they do--and that clam-diggers take their status quite seriously. One day, while shooting on City Island Avenue, I saw an elderly gentleman watching us. I went over to him to say hello and he asked me about the movie. After telling him a bit, I gave him a look and said, "Clam-digger"? He smiled and nodded proudly. Then he said, "I not only live in the same house in which I was born, I sleep in the same room I was born in!" Thus did I meet the Islands oldest resident--he's in his late nineties. I put him in a scene later that day--he'll be visible in the opening montage of the film when you see it...
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 8:46 AM