Art for Cart’s Sake

The vendor gets his due.Photograph courtesy of Filmsphilos

Rob and Robin give special attention to street carts in today’s “Underground Gourmet,” but they’re not the only ones showing love to the humble vendors. Ramin Bahrani’s Man Push Cart, currently doing boffo business at the Angelika Film Center, has done for Pakistani street vendors what The Bicycle Thief did for poster hangers. The drama, which centers around a roll-and-coffee seller with a mysterious past, comes on the heels of the Vendy Awards and increasing attention to legendary New York street vendors like midtown’s Muhammed Rahman or Jackson Heights’ “Arepa Lady.”

1. Ahmed, Man Push Cart
His proletarian struggles earn our respect, but it’s his rock-star past that earns our love.

2. Lemonade Vendor, Duck Soup
Edgar Kennedy’s nameless character, tormented by a clearly insane Harpo Marx, remains one of film’s iconic figures of suffering.

3. Tommy, Trees Lounge
He’s an unemployed alcoholic who drives an ice-cream truck and molests a 17-year-old Chloë Sevigny. But he’s played by Über-mope Steve Buscemi, so we adore him anyway.

4. Derrick, Party Girl
Talk about an unrewarding part: Anthony DeSando’s stoic falafel vendor must stand there while Parker Posey riffs and undergoes dozens of costume changes. And for this he left Lebanon?

5. Joe Oramas, The Station Agent
This guy’s so likable that even the world’s unfriendliest dwarf can’t turn him away.

Art for Cart’s Sake