Commercial Director Looks Back at New York's Year in Hell

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Henry Corra and Nanette Burstein
Henry Corra and Nanette Burstein
If you're the sort who complains that New York has been overly Disneyfied, you're probably under 25 or didn't live in New York during its worst time. Still, if you need a gritty nostalgia fix and you're too hypocritical to move to Newark, tune in to VH1 tomorrow night for "NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell."

Now, why am I writing about a VH1 documentary? What does this have to do with advertising or marketing? "NY77" is directed by Henry Corra. When Henry's not making documentaries, he's making commercials. In fact, in the midst of setting up interviews with Ed Koch, Al Goldstein, Ian Schrager, KRS One and, uh, Annie Sprinkle, Henry shot a Crest campaign for Saatchi. From blinding white teeth to "cool" urban squalor. Talk about emotional disconnects! (Suddenly, I'm thinking of a potential Orbit gum commercial.)

Nanette Burstein, who produced and directed "The Kid Stays in the Picture," is the executive producer of NY77.

First airing is Aug. 11 at 9 p.m. It's VH1, so it'll probably be on again (and again) this fall.
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