Blank City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blank City Reviews

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.
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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As maddeningly undisciplined as the movie community she's exploring, but it still stands as a worthy historical document of NYC's recent past and the birth of a new way of making films.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
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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
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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
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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
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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-
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 8, 2011
Anyone who bemoans the gentrification of New York will revel in Celine Danhier's love letter to a long-ago city, back in the late '70s.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Noel Murray
AV Club
April 7, 2011
In the abstract, this story's been told before. But in its particulars, Blank City is long overdue.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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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.
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David Fear
Time Out
April 6, 2011
Blank City is more than just a correlative correction; it's a complementary portrait of how, just like Blondie, Basquiat et al., these wasteland mavericks created their own zeitgeist out of urgent desperation and urban decay.
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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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
April 4, 2011
Often feels as inchoate as the phenomenon under discussion.
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Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
November 9, 2010
A well-researched celebration of No Wave cinema in all its grainy Super-8 glory.