New On Netflix: Blank City

[BoxTitle]Blank City[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="70117055"/] [NetflixWatch id="70117055"/]

If you ever had any doubts that New York City, despite its incredibly high cost of living, is a great place to be broke and fu** around, then check out Blank City. Director Celine Danhier’s documentary chronicles the city’s “No Wave” DIY filmmaking movement that went hand in hand with the rise of punk rock in the late ’70s and early ’80s and featured such underground artists as John Nares, Eric Mitchell, Amos Poe, Vivienne Dick, Michael Oblowitz, Scott B. and Beth B., Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Jim Jarmusch and John Lurie, most of whom were technically homeless as they squatted in condemned Lower East Side buildings and did whatever they could to score drugs — and Super 8 film stock. Alternately fascinating and infuriating, Blank City does succeed in taking you back to a New York City that is most definitely long gone, where CBGB’s wasn’t in danger of shutting down due to the rising cost of rent and the East Village was a downright dangerous place to live; it also provides a rare look at some all but forgotten “gems” from the era of the “Cinema of Transgression,” some of which feature appearances by very young versions of Steve Buscemi, Mark Boone Junior and Vincent Gallo. All of the artists interviewed now seem either nostalgic, embarrassed or indifferent to it all, and some seem to be even crazier now than they were back then (especially James Chance and Nick Zedd); it’s the always-cool Jim Jarmusch, though, who gives the final word as he throws away the past and looks to the future.

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