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Working Titles: A Bronx Tale

Working Titles takes a closer look at specific films with a denim and workwear aesthetic with the goal of examining the material’s shifting cultural image.


I can be a pretty verbose guy at times. Get me talking, and I’m hard to shut up. I just get carried away, particularly if it’s about a subject I’m interested in. But, this movie. Man, I have no idea how to put what I just experienced into words. I feel like I had several recurring epiphanies throughout. I wasn’t prepared. I went into it all dewy-eyed and emerged the other side a Limoncello sippin’, toothpick suckin’ mobster. Man o’ man, what a film. 

A Bronx Tale – directed by Robert De Niro – is a coming-of-age drama set in the streets of an Italian-American Bronx neighborhood in the socially turbulent ‘60s. Based on the Chazz Palminteri play, the story follows Calogero (played first by Francis Capra as a young boy, then by Lillo Brancato as a teenager), a kid who’s quickly taken under the wing of local mob boss Sonny (Chazz Palminteri) after witnessing a murder right on his doorstep. As he becomes immersed in mob life, a mental game of tug of war ensues as he battles to stay on the straight and narrow like his father Lorenzo (Robert De Niro). But when Calogero falls for his African-American classmate, Jane (Taral Hicks), repercussions threaten the entire neighborhood. 

If I had to lump the style in this movie into a bucket, it would be ‘mob-core’. Does mob-core even exist? Probably not, and I don’t expect to be writing a Style Starter piece on it any time soon. 

Do you ever get nostalgic about things you’ve never experienced and places you’ve never been? Yes, I’m totally aware that what I’ve just said contradicts the very definition of nostalgia, but I truly believe it’s a real thing. But that’s how I felt about the styling in this movie. There’s nothing really innovative or standout about it, like Serpico, for instance; however, there is a strong sense of charm; a period-accurate nod to times of old. And we can all appreciate that massively. 

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