|IF THESE KNISHES COULD TALK|
(The Story Of The New York Accent)
|Cast: ||Pete Hamill, Amy Heckerling, James McBride, Joe Franklin, Dom Ferrara, Barbara Mensch, Ben Lee, Samuel Caraballo, Michele Carlo, Frankie Clinton, Ayesha Tena|
|Crew: ||Executive Producers: Gary Greco, Pamela Vanderway, Lawrence Paskowitz, Jeffrey Guarino - Editor: Hilary Walker
It's tough to assess the value of a vowel or a diphthong, yet it's these intangible elements, along with a few dropped Rs and intrusive Gs, which make up one helluva great chapter of American history. The New York accent is as much a part of this country as those spacious skies and purple mountains majesty. It's the voice of the melting pot, a lingua franca that united immigrants from all over the world, and became the vibrant soundtrack of a charming, unforgiving and enduring city.
Heather Quinlan is a New Yorker who's lived in all five boroughs and whose short film, "O Brooklyn! My Brooklyn!" about Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" was called "charming ... an endearing way of making an old poem more relevant" by the New York Times. She also directed Dinner With Wise Guys, a Little Italy spin on IFC's "Dinner For Five," and interstitials for the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. She started If These Knishes Could Talk as an homage to her father and grandparents, whose wonderful accents she missed hearing. The knish became a symbol for the film after she remembered it was a Jewish food introduced to her by her Irish father in the heavily Italian borough of Staten Island.