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Downtown Locals (2006)

Documents 6 subway performers in NYC.


Robin Muir, Rory Muir


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


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

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



User Reviews

Made me want to take the subway.
9 February 2006 | by manbitesdog-1See 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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Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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