Neil Barsky, shown at right) so interesting, so much fun, and so full of that peculiar combination of personalities, power, desires and events that makes big-city politics so nasty and fascinating.
From that opening statement, regarding Koch's sense of New York City whenever he flies back to it at night, Barsky moves to the vote taken on whether or not to re-name the Queensborough/59th Street Bridge after the former mayor. Listening to the remarks -- pro and con -- about Koch's record, according to these other politicians, is eye-opening to say the least.
Mario Cuomo (above, right), in which those rumors took printed form, and in which Mario's son-and-now-governor Andrew was said to have had a hand. Naughty! And so, very suddenly in that campaign Koch was seen everywhere, holding hands with former Miss America Bess Myerson (below, right). Those were the days! Still, it says something about the guy that he has managed to keep his private life private. Bill Clinton, I imagine, can only marvel.
Ed is no dummy, and another scene in which he goes up against Senator William Proxmire in DC (in the hearings regarding giving a loan to New York City during its tough financial time) is very much worth seeing and remembering. He was a smart man and a good politician -- though supremely divisive. He is simply not cut out, as the movie well demonstrates, for being any kind of a conciliator. (His comment about upstate New Yorkers when he visited there, shown below, probably lost him his ill-advised attempt at becoming governor.)
Koch, neither the movie nor the man, is likely to convert anyone at this point in time, but for those (like me) who've long been on the fence about the guy, it will provide a lot to enjoy and consider -- even if, on balance, it slants maybe just a tad too much in the direction of hagiography.