The cream of New York new wave/punk filmed live at CBGB's when the scene was just beginning. Includes performances by Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, the Ramones, Talking Heads, the ... See full summary »
The cream of New York new wave/punk filmed live at CBGB's when the scene was just beginning. Includes performances by Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, the Ramones, Talking Heads, the Heartbreakers, the Shirts, Wayne County, the Marbles, the Dolls, Miamis, Harry Toledo, and the Tuff Darts (w/Robert Gordon). Written by
Great music, arty visuals, but possibly too arty for some folks
This is a great, atmospheric, you might say "cinema-verite" film of a selection of the bands that made up the mid-70s CBGBs New York Punk scene. It was shot on a single 16mm camera, largely live at the club, but also with some "out in the street" sequences, and is a vital, rare document of exciting and vibrant music. And OK, let me get this over to ya now, the film doesn't have the benefit of sync sound. I'd guess the audio, which is a mixture of live tapes and commercially available records, was dubbed on later when the film makers had cut their footage together. So it's all pretty jumbled up, and the visuals don't match up a lot of the time, but I reckon that's a feature, not a fault. It all just adds to the rough-n-ready quality. Maybe those negative IMDb reviews came from folks who just didn't "get it" and expected something more slick, more MTV (yuk). Well isn't that ironic, since MTV and its nauseous ilk are forever trying to ape old-school underground film makers, and they usually fall way short of the mark simply because unlike these guys, MTV are clueless.
Some of the bands you'll see here went on to commercial success (check the very early footage of Talking Heads and Blondie) and some are still propping up the "influential" lists thirty years on (Television and Patti Smith just played sold-out painfully hip gigs in London last month) and some verge on performance art (Wayne/Jayne County) and some are just plain forgotten (Marbles, Tuff Darts). But none of the 12 or so segments here are over-long and the Ramones footage is worth the price of admission alone. Music fans should be happy someone bothered to capture the CBGBs scene while it still was a scene. Essential, x10.
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