Blank City: The No Wave Years

Steve Buscemi and Vincent Gallo in a Documentary About New York's DIY Film Scene

Steve Buscemi reminisces on the improvisational roots of his movie debut, Eric Mitchell’s The Way It Is, in today's exclusive clip from Celine Danhier’s Blank City. Focusing on the mid-70s and 80s No Wave movement in New York, Danhier’s new documentary paints a vivid portrait of the underground scene through interviews with its most notable fixtures: John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, Amos Poe, Vivienne Dick, and John Lurie among them. “New York was a very different and dangerous place to live then, like the Wild West,” says Danhier, whose film also references the East Village institutions that served as the genre’s unofficial headquarters, including the Mudd Club and CBGB. “It was run-down and almost bankrupt. But from that, this amazing do-it-yourself attitude grew.” Low-budget and shot on-the-fly with grainy Super 8, the forgotten gems unearthed in the film include Downtown 81 with Jean Michel Basquiat, Amos Poe’s apocalyptic Unmade Beds starring Debbie Harry, and Rome 78, a Caligula-meets-The Queen of Sheba romp directed by James Nares (also appearing in today’s clip). Blank City opens in the US on April 6.


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