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Doin' Time in Times Square1991

  • 3.8
Described as the home video from hell, DOIN' TIME IN TIMES SQUARE documents the view and action outside director Charlie Ahearn's 43rd Street apartment window from 1981 to 1983. Charlie Ahearn, whose 1983 film WILD STYLE was a cult hip hop hit, was "blessed" with a generous view of the sleeze emporiums up Eighth Avenue and down 43rd. His window provides a view into midtown New York's street brutality in those dark years before it was "cleaned up" and "Disneyfied". His Hi-8 camera captures rip-offs, drug sales, police stake-outs and fights. Lots of fights. On any given day we see fist-fights, domestic squabbles and bad deals going down. It is both a social and personal document. A remnant of infamous squalor from Times Square's past, DOIN' TIME is a cultural artifact that retains its washed-out, shot-on-consumer-video charm.

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1 member likes this review

Slices of life...how things have changed since the 80's...now we just don't see it on the way to The Lion King. The chaos is still out there somewhere though. Seeing it juxtaposed with the children growing up, upstairs from the instability...the distance between the family and the street just feet apart...the stark human condition below and the spartan joy of the home above...I am left wondering if the camera was the most valuable item the family owned...how else better to deal with the stresses of the city than to funnel it through the eye of a camera...and expand upon the joys of their family life...New York, you are an enigma and despite your warts and sometimes open sores, hidden away in a 2 room flat beats your sustaining heart and soul.

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Member Reviews (10)

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top reviewer

Slices of life...how things have changed since the 80's...now we just don't see it on the way to The Lion King. The chaos is still out there somewhere though. Seeing it juxtaposed with the children growing up, upstairs from the instability...the distance between the family and the street just feet apart...the stark human condition below and the spartan joy of the home above...I am left wondering if the camera was the most valuable item the family owned...how else better to deal with the stresses of the city than to funnel it through the eye of a camera...and expand upon the joys of their family life...New York, you are an enigma and despite your warts and sometimes open sores, hidden away in a 2 room flat beats your sustaining heart and soul.

1 member likes this review

I grew up across the river in NJ. I used to walk these streets with my cousin and my friends looking at the adult book stores and XXX movie theatres. I was 15-18, and you know what I am glad to have been there. However, I am not sad it is gone, I like the new Times Square and this film shows why it is better. We tend to glorify the past and I understand that but Times Square was a creepy, scary, and sometimes dangerous place. Fun for a foolish teenager, but grow up! Let is never go back to this again.

1 member likes this review

a real blast from the past !! Those of you who remember times square before it was white washed will either have fond or terrible memories about this time period of decadence..A real candid view of what went on in the heart of NYC in the 60's and 70's...

1 member likes this review
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A nice short showing the contrast of living a nice life above Times Square, while life goes down and out in the streets below.

Though I liked this film very much, I didn't respond well to the inside, domestic materials, which, to me, seemed forced, an imposition. On the other hand, they did help provide a necessary relief of the external, often grim, images.

Nothing new for me.

Great little short film. I really liked this as it showed Times square in it's early 1980's period of seedy/dirty/grityness glory. A time capsule.

great

mesmerizing