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Downtown Locals (2006)

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Documents 6 subway performers in NYC.


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Title: Downtown Locals (2006)

Downtown Locals (2006) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Credited cast:
Victor Cretella ...
John Del Signore ...
Julio César Díaz ...
Paul Lawrence ...
Kenny Legagnuer ...
Hugh Plantin ...
Ronnie Raffel ...
Helen Stratford ...


Follows six unique subway performers as they struggle to earn a living and defend their right to perform in New York City's underground. Among those you'll meet are the Mercury Man, a struggling actor who stands motionless for hours at a time; Julio, a Colombian immigrant who dances with a life-sized doll attached to his shoes; and Helen, a Vassar graduate who in her forties reinvents herself as an accordion-playing chanteuse. Each weathers a roller-coaster year of personal successes and defeats, remaining true to their art despite struggles with the police, city bureaucracy, money , complex pasts, addiction and loneliness. DOWNTOWN LOCALS reveals the microcosm of the true underground by drawing us into the lives of a few of Nww York City's less celebrated characters. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's Broadway, and then there's Subway.





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Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Made me want to take the subway.
9 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The documentary follows artists through their performances and troubles of being a struggling musician/artist working in the New York subway system. From the very beginning it caught my attention and was far more interesting than I figured it would be. Some of the performers were talented and some weren't but the one thing that remained and was addressed was that they were living the lives they wanted.

One of the main focuses of the documentary was that the city wanted to sponsor artists to play in the subways, guaranteeing a sort of quality of music that could be heard in them. They presented these artists with a banner proclaiming that they were good enough to be endorsed by the city. The film shows the tryouts for the project and the victory/defeat that accompanied them. At the same time it features interviews with a police officer whose job it is, is to bust up subway performers and keep the tunnels ear friendly. All the performers, regarding talent, are very interesting and provide for an entertaining glance into performance art and the sacrifices that are made to do what they love.

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