UNTITLED PIZZA MOVIE
(a 7-part SERIES, February 26 – MARCH 14)
In the early ’90s, under the guise of producing a TV series titled Eat to Win, director David Shapiro and his best friend, Leeds Atkinson, set out to find New York City’s perfect slice—and to eat for free. The two visited pizzerias across all five boroughs, capturing a changing city, while also preserving it on videotape. At the fabled Lombardi’s, they discovered Andrew Bellucci, a passionate pie man whose expertise landed him an unlikely role as a darling of the New York food world. But shortly after meeting him, he’s arrested, when his former life as a Wall Street criminal catches up to him. They followed the story, and filmed him in prison, but the two friends eventually drifted apart and abandoned the project. Twenty years later, Shapiro receives an e-mail: Leeds is dead. Now an established filmmaker in his own right, Shapiro pieces together their lost footage and sets out to discover what happened to Bellucci and Atkinson. Shot on three continents across 30 years, Untitled Pizza Movie asks: how do you remember someone in a disposable world? “You would think the grid of New York would be a good place to map a memory,” Shapiro muses in the first installment of the series. “In retrospect, it’s hard to pin something down in a city that easily buries its past.” Pushing the boundaries of documentary, the series weaves a triple character portrait through a tapestry of form—thousands of objects filmed as touchstones, Hi8 footage of a pre-gentrified city, and interviews with people as varied as New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov, Nobu’s Drew Nieporent, and Wall Street lawyers.