Koch Movie

Political Elite to Attend Premiere of ‘Koch’ in NYC

Koch Movie PosterCheck out the politicos on the guest list for the premiere of “Koch,” a documentary about the former New York mayor, which will take place Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

The political elite expected to attend the screening and after-party include:

  • 2013 Mayoral candidates:  Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Former MTA Chairman Joe Llohta, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Former NYC Controller Bill Thompson.
  • 2013 Public Advocate candidates: City Councilwoman Letitia James, Reshma Saujani, and State Senator Daniel Squadron.
  •  2013 Controller candidate:  Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Appearing in the film are Rev. Calvin Butts, Koch Chief of Staff Diane Coffey, Former Bronx Borough President Freddy Ferrer, Koch senior adviser John LoCicero, and Former State Controller Carl McCall.

Also attending: Former Park Commissioner Gordon Davis, Former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, Rep. Nita Lowey, and Former MTA Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch.

Also invited are Former Mayor David Dinkins, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Grace Meng, Former NYC Controller Harrison Goldin and Rep. Yvette Clark.

The film’s publicist, the indomitable Gary Springer, assures me that Ed Koch, who is now 88, will appear at the premiere even if he has to make an escape from the hospital where he’s currently undergoing tests after being treated for swollen ankles and fluid in his lungs. (The doctors instructed Koch to restrict his salt intake.)

The former Mayor is the quintessential New Yorker: ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt. He was New York’s mayor from 1978 to 1989, when the city was near-bankruptcy and crime was rampant. By the end of his term, the city was in the midst of the AIDS crisis.

The film is directed by first-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky and is a portrait of Koch’s legacy as a politician as well as a revealing look at his personal life.

Although he’s a little more fragile, the former mayor hasn’t lost his edge. Our favorite moment in the film is when he called governor-elect Andrew Cuomo a schmuck in 2010. Koch, who supported Cuomo in the campaign, hurled the insult at Cuomo after he was turned away from the newly governor-elect’s door when he tried to congratulate him on his win. (Koch has a history with Andrew Cuomo’s father, former Governor Mario Cuomo that is all explained in the film.)

Both Andrew and Mario Cuomo have been invited to the premiere, and I’m hoping they have enough of a sense of a humor to attend. After all, there was always that side of Koch where he was like your loveable but loopy grand aunt, who could get away with saying almost anything.

UPDATE: Mayor Koch passed away on the morning of Feb. 1, 2013. Check out possibly the last interview with Koch over at AARP.org.

Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo, as seen in Koch documentary
Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo before their last debate in the 1977 mayoral race. As seen in KOCH, a film by Neil Barsky. A Zeitgeist Films release. Photo: Janie Eisenberg

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2 responses to “Political Elite to Attend Premiere of ‘Koch’ in NYC”

  1. […] a decade later, I attended the premiere of “Koch” at the Museum of Modern Art, just days before the former mayor’s death. While the movie was being […]

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