Sunday, 8 December
BLANK CITY 2011 Directed by Celine Danhier 95 minutes In English
During the late '70s, downtown New York experienced a huge wave of do-it-yourself independent everything: music, filmmaking, art, fashion and lifestyles. This scene has long disappeared, but it still lingers like a ghost over the city. Coinciding with bands like Blondie, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, The Ramones, and Patti Smith came a whole new approach to combining art and life. Blank City largely focuses on the filmmaking aspect... young people with new ideas, no money and a fiery spirit who picked up super-8 movie cameras and actually created a new underground culture.
The films they churned out were wild, dirty (in all senses of the word), transgressive, but most importantly, they were different. They envisioned other possibilities, they rebelled against the bland consumer culture that was swelling in America and encroaching on NYC. As this film documents, many well-known artists came out of this thriving underground film milieu... people like Basquiat, Jim Jarmusch, Klaus Nomi and Steve Buscemi. This film, made by French director Celine Danhier, jumps headlong into this long-gone world. It retrieves priceless archival material and mixes it with insightful interviews with people like Debbie Harry, Steve Buscemi, John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, Thurston Moore, Lydia Lunch, Amos Poe, Beth B., Richard Kern and John Lurie. This is also a movie about how a community can create a culture, and how it can be ruined by gentrification.
"Today, Manhattan is a byword for overpriced property, overexposed landmarks and overdressed fashionistas. In the late 70s, however, it was rat-infested, crime-crippled, cheap and nasty - somewhere for America to dump its immigrants, poor people and artists. Music, art, fashion and filmmaking burgeoned, fueled by drugs, dares, fads, feuds, and a fair helping of madness."
This will be a high-definition screening
VEEM PERFORMANCE SPACE
Van Diemenstraat 408-410