2 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 38 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

Filmmakers Nate Harar, Torre Catalano and Chris Harar co-directed this short documentary on the vaguely mysterious Gary, a homeless man who ekes out a living by creating flower and fruit designs over the “Imagine” mosaic in the Strawberry Fields section of New York’s Central Park. Gary also serves as an unofficial historian on the life and death of John Lennon, and tourists offer loose change in praise of his raconteur skills and unlikely artwork.

Whether Gary can be considered an artist is open to debate – even some of his homeless peers laugh at the notion, including his common-law wife, openly laugh at his claim. But Gary’s bubbly personality and genuine adoration for the slain ex-Beatle more than compensates for his aesthetic shortcomings.

However, the antics of the gabby Gary can barely support this 38-minute production, but that’s hardly his fault. The three filmmakers never provide any depth regarding how Gary came to this unlikely position in life or how he continues to survive in New York based on loose change from tourists. Gary offers only a brief acknowledgement of an unlikely former residence – an Amtrak tunnel a few blocks north of Strawberry Fields – while his companion speaks at length about her own fall from suburban privilege to urban homelessness.

There is a greater story lurking within this subject, though “The Mayor of Strawberry Fields” never seems to realize it is there.

Posted on October 23, 2010 in Reviews by

If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
Popular Stories from Around the Web

  1. D Saunders on Sat, 7th May 2011 12:09 pm 

    Hi i want to help set the record strait about gary dos santos he is a SSI recipient living off the government and has section 8 housing in the times square hotel along with a nice apt , and the whole time he has been making about 40.000 a year with the constant donations of unsuspecting tourist he never knew john and never knew anything about him until he read about it the only way he became the self proclaimed mayor of strawberry fields was when he got arrested there and gave his address as 72ed and central park west and it went into the law enforcement computer that way , he is a criminal who has a fairly serious rap sheet , he gives and sells drugs to teenagers under and over the age of 18 i would never let this guy around my or any one elses children , he also has a business going with a few of the park cops selling drugs and giving them kickbacks out of his take every day , the only reason he is still there is because his family is connected with the mafia and he also had catered to rich gay men in the upper manhattan area , i will give you a quick scenario , about his activities one day in 2009 i was at the entrance of johns memorial and a lady walked up to me and said are you the mayor and i said no and she said her little girl put some flowers on the memorial and gary stomped on them and kicked them off and even yelled at her she was only 10 years old , and she was crying her eyes out i ask the lady if she wanted me to find gary and force him to apologize but she said no and like everything else it was swept under the rug well i am also a musician and the local people and the tourist said i was better than the fake beatles band and every one else who went to do john lennon and beatles tunes there i stood up to gary when he called the cops on me for playing there and then tried to lie about it but the cops actually liked me because they knew i was not there to sell drugs or hassle people and they never gave me a ticket finally gary had some gang bangers he knew come to bully me and i stood up to them as well and said hey you picked the wrong guy this time and i will break all of you right now right here and you know what they said they would get me arreted you know it makes me sick and it makes me laugh at the same time all the stories i heard about NyC and their tough street hoods and people where are they they are punks and i would have beaten them and put them in the hospital if they would have attacked me , any way this will be the first of a long line of comments of me setting the record strait in a nut shell gary dos santos is a mentally deranged methodical punk who has raped young girls and given them drugs sold fake drugs to tourist ripped off their cameras and other personal property and lives off the govt while he makes money hand over fist ,at the memorial i am the only other person besides gary to ever decorate the memorial in his absence when he was to hung over from a crack binge if iever see him again i will rip the haight ashbury shirt off his back and stuff it down his throat if he even tries to talk to me he needs to be removed from there ASAP when i was there the other locals wanted me to be the mayor and i said no so gary if you read this comment just remember i did not star this but i am going to finish it and when i do you will be removed forever not to mention the crack dealers he turned in to the cops will get out of jail soon , and will come looking for you so its your karma gary here it comes unfolding like the universe ,,,,

    Report Comment

  2. Jack on Thu, 30th Jun 2011 6:13 pm 

    Well I know who you are and I can tell you Gary is much more entertaining. Your music blows and if anyone should leave SF forever, most people would vote YOU!

    Report Comment

Tell us what you're thinking...

Comments are governed by the Terms of Use of this Site. Click on the "Report Comment" link if you feel a comment is in violation of the Terms of Use, and the comment will be reviewed appropriately.