Blank City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blank City Reviews

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Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
March 1, 2012
The films emerge as fascinating period pieces filled with too-cool-for-school 70s types; but the most potent figure in the film is New York itself, decrepit but glowering angrily in the background.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
July 26, 2011
Celine Danhier combines talking heads with a flood of Super-8 and 16-millimeter film clips to create this entertaining 2010 documentary about the explosion of punk energy that propelled New York City's art, music, and cinema underground.
Jim Slotek
Jam! Movies
July 15, 2011
There's no denying that the decaying New York of the late-'70s/early-'80s was a fascinating proving ground for starving artists. And Blank City is great arty eye candy. But you'll appreciate it best if the skinny-tie years were indeed your glory days.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
July 15, 2011
As maddeningly undisciplined as the movie community she's exploring, but it still stands as a worthy historical document of NYC's recent past and the birth of a new way of making films.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Norman Wilner
NOW Toronto
July 15, 2011
Celine Danhier's vivid documentary recreates the dangerous energy of New York City in the late 70s and early 80s.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
July 15, 2011
As well as unearthing flavourful clips from films only determined cineastes have seen (War Is Menstrual Envy, You Killed Me First), French filmmaker CÚline Danhier has reassembled many of the era's crucial players.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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
Ed Whitfield
The Ooh Tray
June 30, 2011
... Makes you nostalgic for a cultural experience you never had.
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
June 17, 2011
You can't tell the urban hipsters without a scorecard.
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.
| Original Score: A-
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
June 13, 2011
The grainy Super-8 and 16-mm esthetic invests the New York films with a bruised and distressed grandeur that is much more pleasing to the eye than the smoothness of the DIY no-budget movies of the current video era.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 9, 2011
The real reason to see Blank City is to catch snatches of the now-decades-old films - priceless DIY numbers that capture all the wild energy, humor, and rage of, if not a more innocent time, then certainly a cooler one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 2, 2011
"Blank City" shows a succession of engaging, intelligent, middle-aged people showing some very bad home movies that they once hoped were something more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
May 27, 2011
The doc flags toward the end, but it remains an absorbing snapshot of a daring time.
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
Chris Chang
Film Comment Magazine
April 29, 2011
Leave it to a French director -- a Sorbonne graduate, with a master's degree in law, no less -- to produce a terrific documentary about a 30-year-old Lower Manhattan micro-niche.
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
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
April 13, 2011
Though the area was filled with crime, drugs and derelict buildings, [the Lower East Side] nurtured a vibrant underground film scene.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
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