CULTURE MONSTER

"New York Stories (Life Lessons)" (1989)

The music: Nessun Dorma from "Turandot" by Giacomo Puccini. The scene: Suffering from artist's block, celebrated painter Lionel Dobie (Nick Nolte) switches his stereo player from rock music to Puccini as he contemplates his canvas and wrestles with his attraction to his former assistant (Rosanna Arquette). Of special note: In "Turandot," the young hero spends the night longing for a princess who doesn't love him back. The operatic plot is similar to the movie's central relationship, in which Nolte keeps late-night vigils over the Arquette character.
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