In the years before Ronald Reagan took office, Manhattan was in ruins. But true art has never come from comfort, and it was precisely those dire circumstances that inspired artists like Jim Jarmusch, Lizzy Borden, and Amos Poe to produce some of their best works. Taking their cues from punk rock and new wave music, these young maverick filmmakers confronted viewers with a stark reality that stood in powerful contrast to the escapist product being churned out by Hollywood.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN November 01, 2023 at 08:57 AM
Unlike other reviewers here I went into this film at a film festival knowing (due to the trailer available online) that this was a documentation of No Wave cinema, a subject about which I knew little, and now know some. While not claiming that the films themselves were anything other than creations of people who felt that their city was collapsing around them, Blank City is more interested in collecting the (far more interesting) stories behind the creation of the films and the nature of the filmmakers environment. While there are some familiar faces, the true stars are relative unknowns, those who risked all they had to make spontaneous no-budget films of a fascinating time in a fascinating city. I highly recommend this as a quick trip through an utterly mesmerizing time and am eternally grateful that these film-clips have a chance to be seen, the music heard and these remarkably lucky and brave people have their (often hilarious and sometimes moving) stories told.
Reviewed by cinemabunny10 / 10
Awesome documentary tracing the youth of some of our favorite figures in film
I was really intrigued by this film and found myself very satisfied with the content and execution. Considering the amount of emphasis placed on the rise of independent film and the fall of the studio system, the amount of time talking about the following generation pales in comparison. Independent film never disappeared, it just became briefly overshadowed by larger block-buster films like The Godfather, Jaws, Star Wars. Granted, these are all enjoyable films, but it's refreshing to see a glimpse into the lives of the independent filmmakers of the 1970's. It's sort of a testament to the idea that these now-pivotal figures didn't necessarily struggle through obscurity as much they reveled in it, instead embracing an anarchistic style of creativity that really came to define them and make them such poignant artists.
Reviewed by kosmasp8 / 10
You've gotta love this
Actually it seems, that you don't have to, but I think you should. Again this is a documentary that has a specific target audience and most people who are not into independent movies (or the wave of them coming out of America a few decades ago) won't like it. As you can see in some of the other comments on this title.
I respect their comments and their views. I still have to disagree with one of them, which goes a bit too far and does imply something, that the movie does not do or try to do. This movie is not glorifying the filmmakers from that time. Quite the contrary, sometimes they are shown as complete lunatics. But that is the appeal of the movie. It does show you people as they are, without judging them. The judging comes from within the viewer.
And while I have to admit not being a big fan (and also not knowing many) of the movies, I really did enjoy the movie. I liked the way it was shot and I liked the interviews. The pacing was great and the shots were interesting. And that was all before the lovely director came on stage and talked a bit about the movie. Unfortunately I had to leave and didn't have a chance to talk to her. But I hope to see more of the team behind this (her "partners in crime" were there too).