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Blank City (2011)

Deborah Harry , Steve Buscemi , Celine Danhier  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Harry, Steve Buscemi, Ann Magnuson, Fab 5 Freddy, Jim Jarmusch
  • Directors: Celine Danhier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,124 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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. Interviews with the aforementioned artists as well as Debbie Harry, Steve Buscemi, John Waters, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, and Thurston Moore reveal how a group of young visionaries pooled their resources to birth a film movement that produced some of the most challenging art of the 20th century. SPECIAL FEATURES: TBD

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Manifesto of New York Art and Attitude January 1, 2014
To be honest not one of the films excerpted or discussed on this DVD seems all that compelling and very few of the individual artists discussed seem all that compeling either. What is compelling though is not necessarily the art (on any given night you might see a new band and a new film) but the primitive conditions in which these artists lived and created their own version of life/art in the late 20th Century. The artists' street ethos/aesthetic was forged in the cauldron of a bankrupt and depraved mid to late 70's NYC and their collective story of survival is more interesting than any of their individual art works/visions. Ultimately what they collectively created was an attitude that still survives in the work of many New York bands, artists and filmmakers.

The most articulate spokespeople of the No Wave ethos/aesthetic are John Lurie (the quintessential late 20th Cent denizen of all marginal arts), Jim Jarmusch (by far the most intelligent and articulate No Wave/DIY spokesman), Lydia Lunch (by far the No Wave's most charismatic/theatrical performer), and Thurston Moore who offers his take on what the scene looked and felt like and meant to a 15 year old experiencing this legendary urban milieu (Max's Kansas City, CBGB, MUDD Club) not as an insider creator but as an outsider observer.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blank City Review December 18, 2012
What really made this documentary interesting for me was the insight into a time period and culture that very few people got to experience. A time of unbridled, chaotic, rebellious, unorthodox creativity in lower Manhattan during the 70's/80's. The whole idea of this culture seems to be, cast away everything you know about "art, film and music" and be original. The less you knew about the art form you were a part of the better. The palpability of what was actually produced by these artists appears to be secondary to this idea of complete rebellion, down with society, down with your beliefs, we gonna do what we wanna do and create our own beliefs and art, on meth.

Walking down the streets of lower east side Manhattan today with the 1k+ monthly rents, hipsters, bodegas, corporate stores, dive bars, cabs, families etc, its almost hard to believe that nyc really was once really a place with the burning trash cans, abandoned buildings and scum bags. These artists actually flourished and found passion in this almost post-apocalyptic version of new york city.

But like anything that is "cool and real" suddenly the celebrities want to hang out with the artists, a few artists break out and make some cash, and the whole scene crumbles in response as the core beliefs of the culture are actually being undermined by the very artists who were central to the cultures rise in the first place. A very interesting cycle to consider, with many parallels in today's cultural context of "real artists", "selling out", and the effect it has on their respective culture/art. But hey, IFC sure is hell is not complaining, and neither am I. A great movie (am I supposed to say film?), watch it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Want to go underground .... July 13, 2014
By M. Beck
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Then this is where to get tips on how to be on the edge! Very accurate in how it really was then. Definitely voyeristic nostalgic and insightful of a time and characters that ruled and riled.
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