Blank City Reviews

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Leslie Stonebraker
New York Press
April 11, 2011
Blank City is a scattered collage of facts and name-dropping that tries too hard to hold hands with the aficionados and the ignorants.
Adam Woodward
Little White Lies
March 1, 2012
A dusty feature-length slideshow presented by aging hipsters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jennifer Merin
About.com
April 1, 2011
Celine Danhier assembles a worthy cast of commentators, but fails to capture the 70s East Village ethos, and the film's frenetic pacing and jumpy editing make it all but unwatchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
April 6, 2011
Nothing in this assemblage of clips will convince anyone not already sold on the enduring artistic importance of these movements beyond the world bounded by 14th Street and the Holland Tunnel.
Brent Simon
Shockya.com
June 2, 2011
Contains some interesting and amusing 'No Wave' anecdotes, but director Celine Danhier doesn't form a cogent narrative spine from all of her interviews.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
April 4, 2011
Often feels as inchoate as the phenomenon under discussion.
Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix
May 19, 2011
Blank City is not a great documentary. Too much is covered way too rapidly. Interviews are cut short, making room for samplings from No Wave movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
June 17, 2011
The biggest shortcoming of "Blank City" is that, despite its vivid portrait of the time period, we never get much sense of what the actual movies are like.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Matt Chapman
Total Film
February 20, 2012
The film works best as a love letter to a grubbier, poorer era in Manhattan history.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ed Whitfield
The Ooh Tray
June 30, 2011
... Makes you nostalgic for a cultural experience you never had.
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times
June 16, 2011
Above all, the film is a poignant valentine to an era when artists could afford to live and work on the island of Manhattan, and the cultural ferment goosed by their low-rent lifestyle.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 10, 2011
This doc is interesting and worthy, but it is unlikely to send you seeking most of the films sampled in it. That was then, this is now, and it was fun while it lasted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
June 17, 2011
You can't tell the urban hipsters without a scorecard.
Edward Douglas
ComingSoon.net
April 6, 2011
Aacts as a time capsule of New York of that era ... being able to see all of this crazy originality unfolding chronologically really makes this a very special film.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
April 12, 2011
The fabled downtown Manhattan avant-filmmaking scene of yore gets its due in this passionate chronicle of cinematic rebellion.
Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine
April 13, 2011
The juxtaposition between the studiously aging talking heads and their bleakly youthful counterparts is often jarring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
March 20, 2011
Celine Danhier's documentary about New York's punk and post punk era of underground DIY filmmaking is an ecstatic examination of the artists who everything they had into creating something original.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Michelle Orange
Movieline
April 7, 2011
There's a great story in there -- hundreds of them, no doubt. The only thing lacking in the raw materials of a movement that resisted definition by definition, is room for a documentary caught up in spelling things out.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 6, 2011
Somehow Ms. Danhier manages to conjure a glorious and grungy bygone past without fetishizing it as a golden age.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 19, 2011
"Blank City'' can't help but feel a little unfocused ... and it definitely isn't sure where to call it quits, but it's there for the moments that matter.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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