Blank City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blank City Reviews

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September 10, 2014
Great documentary. If you recognize any names involved, you should see it!
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2013
"Blank City" is a spirited and informative documentary about a group of low budget filmmakers operating in New York City in the 70's and 80's. While I could point out that the documentary could have used a better organizational and chronological structure, I think at the same time that would have clashed with the punk music like aesthetic of the movies that were made using 8mm cameras that were bought, stolen or borrowed.(I'm no legal expert but I am pretty sure that the statute of limitations has expired on all the financing via petty larceny.) Of them, some of the names might seem familiar to the casual observer like Jim Jarmusch and Steve Buscemi. And it admittedly did take a few minutes to remember where I recognized Richard Kern, now mostly known for nude photography, from. So, it is perhaps ironic that success and money killed this nascent movement, especially the gentrifying of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, home turf for so many of these artists.
½ July 27, 2013
Documentary coverage of the "no Wave" film movement from NYC in the late 70s and early 80s (also known as new cinema) and the later "cinema of transgression". Danhier manages to track down most, if not all, of the major players in the scene, including filmmakers Scott and Beth B, Vivienne Dick, Eric Mitchell, Jim Jarmusch, Nick Zedd, Richard Kern, and James Nares, and stars Lydia Lunch, James Chance, John Lurie, Steve Buscemi, and Ann Magnuson (as well as early affionado Thurston Moore who turns up in every other documentary of this kind). Fascinating to see these talking heads speak and more importantly to see clips of films otherwise difficult to see. But one wonders how the story would have been told differently by Marc Masters who details the movement in Chapter 5 of his excellent book No Wave. To me, the almost total exclusion of the parallel no wave music scene is a serious omission. But Blank City does take you to a time and place that no longer exists and which was very influential on the underground loves of many in my social circle. Let's hope it helps to make the films more available.
July 6, 2013
Gritty, a little bland, but interesting if you've ever wondered about the creative process with no budget.
December 2, 2012
i watched it just becaude i'm a big fun of independent film . i would love to see a version of actul films
October 19, 2012
awesome doc but they omitted talking about one of my fave ovies-"liquid sky"
September 26, 2012
Enough movie recommendations to choke a horse! It's also fascinating to watch Nick Zedd, since he clearly was cloned off of Tommy Wisseau, only raised in a not-ambiguous European environment. His films like really crazy, though, and I'm intrigued. At the heart of it, about student filmmakers, which I empathize with.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2012
A fascinating look at a New York City that is gone forever..some would say for the better, others for the worse. This is a tale of a City in decay..and the fantastic art motivated by that decay.
June 3, 2012
Great doc on the people who made/make films for art, not profit.
Super Reviewer
½ May 19, 2012
"Blank City" may seem alien to viewers who don't have an affinity with punk culture, but this documentary is an engrossing look at the late-'70s, underground cinema that rose alongside New York's No Wave/CBGB's musical movements. Building on Andy Warhol's "Everybody is a director, everybody is a star" ethic, a clique of rebellious street characters grabbed Super 8 cameras and began making movies. The results were raw, amateurish and often controversial, but had a refreshing directness and lack of artifice. Few of the discussed works are well-known or readily available today (prime exceptions: Susan Seidelman's "Smithereens" and Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise"), so "Blank City" is bound to include fresh information for even hardcore film buffs. Filmmakers like Richard Kern, Eric Mitchell, Amos Poe, Beth B, Nick Zedd, Charlie Ahearn and Vivienne Dick are featured, and participating actors such as Steve Buscemi, Deborah Harry, Lydia Lunch and John Lurie are interviewed. Thurston Moore (inevitably), James Chance, Ann Magnuson, Jim "Foetus" Thirlwell and John Waters add further soundbites.
March 31, 2012
Nice doc detailing the No Wave film movement and Transgression Cinema.
½ March 31, 2012
I saw a movie. About movies!
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2012
Documentary covering the "no-wave" film movement in NYC circa 1977-1984, focusing on Jim Jarmusch, the Cinema of Transgression, and the connections to performance art and punk rock. Very informative if you're not aware of this period; very few of these amateurish art movies are ever screened (after the breakthrough film STRANGER THAN PARADISE, the next most famous example of the genre may just be GEEK MAGGOT BINGO!) Debbie Harry, Steve Buscemi and John Waters (of course) are also interviewed.
January 22, 2012
I only caught the last half of this, but it was very interesting. Those movies look so creepy.
January 11, 2012
Interesting look at the New York film/art scene of the late 70s and early 80s.

Man, NYC was a mess - at least the parts these folks lived in.
September 19, 2011
Interesting look at the New York film/art scene of the late 70s and early 80s. Man, NYC was a mess - at least the parts these folks lived in.
July 13, 2011
Seems like another cool artistic period in NYC. Still, I don't think I'll check out any of the movies that were covered.
July 5, 2011
Although as a documentary, it was slightly lacking in focus (trying to tell too much in too short a span of time - it would have benefitted from perhaps another half hour, which could have easily been gotten, as many of the interviews in the film seemed to be cut short and never really getting to the point), it was always engaging, and made me nostalgic for that dangerous but cheap era of NYC, making me wish I was ten years or so older, so I could have done something exciting in my twenties. It also made me want to watch all of the films by the directors covered/interviewed, even though a lot of them probably suck.When I get a big TV, Cinema of Transgression marathon at my place!
May 1, 2011
Artists and musicians playing with Super 8 film cameras in the wasteland of the 1970s Lower East Side gives rise to the No Wave film movement. Loved this documentary.
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