"...well-researched doc on the No Wave and Cinema of Transgression scenes of late-'70s/early-'80s New York." - Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
BLANK CITY is an "absorbing snapshot of a daring time" (Los Angeles Times) when a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. From the late 1970s through the mid-'80s, when the East Village was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors created bold works that would go on to profoundly influence the development of independent film as we know it today. Made on DIY shoestring budgets with the pioneering musicians, visual artists, performers and derelicts that ruled Downtown, the films surveyed in BLANK CITY are fitting documents of an exhilarating cultural landscape. Director Céline Danhier weaves together an oral history of the "No Wave Cinema" and "Cinema of Transgression" movements, through compelling interviews with the luminaries who began it all. Featured players include acclaimed directors Jim Jarmusch and John Waters, actor/writer/director Steve Buscemi, Blondie's Debbie Harry, hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Crafted with rare extraordinary footage and first-person testimony, BLANK CITY is a poetic love letter to New York and its artists, an intimate portrait conjuring "a glorious and grungy bygone past." (New York Times)
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Reviews(see the best reviews)
Very well made and truly inspiring documentary. Proof that you don't need anything but vision to make a film - a fact that is even more true today. New York City in the late 70's and early 80's must of been one hell of an exciting place to be - but today that scene could be any town, in any state across the country. I say now is the time for a new group of artists to unite and forge their own vision of whats going on, and how they see things. And if your not going to try and change the world, than really, what's the point?
NYC the 70s...I was there; this is it.
Captures the sense of living in NYC without enough money, really, to live anywhere, and yet having an imperative to make art. While a few of those souls -- Cookie Mueller, Basquiat, others -- are gone, there's a remarkable number of survivors here to tell the tale.
amazing,amazing film! gives you so much insight to the transgressive movements of the 70's and 80's while maintaining entertainment value.highly recommended.
answered so many questions answered - what is there not to love about this - so great to see all of these maestros of visual theatre ...
Great Documentary! Carries the arc of the storyline of indie(?) film making in NY in a great detail, while capturing the spirit,hustle, and drama of the period.
BLANK CITY is a look at a bygone New York before Times Square became a tourist trap--cum-sidewalk Disneyland. In the '70s, artists could make the city's landscape their art. They filmed a city that just doesn't exist any longer, and they developed a guerrilla aesthetic that's, thankfully, moved beyond New York to wherever there are people with the desperation to get their picture made.