Today, Manhattan is a byword for overpriced property, overexposed landmarks and overdressed fashionistas. In the late 70s, however, it was rat-infested, crime-crippled, cheap and nasty - somewhere for America to dump its immigrants, poor people and artists. Music, art, fashion and filmmaking burgeoned, fueled by drugs, dares, fads, feuds, and a fair helping of madness.Written by
Edinburgh International Film Festival
A case of Punk Rock film makers spouting out their own importance
As far as the quality of this film, it's very well made. Great interviews with a myriad of directors and actors make for an interesting watch on a lazy weekend day. As far as the content though...meh
If your not familiar with this genre of film-making, it won't take you long to figure out these filmmakers were the equivalent of the music Punk Rock pioneers of the day...although...not near as relevant or successful.
The main goal of this documentary is show fans how/when/where this style/genre of film making started. You get to find out why these individuals started making films the way they did. They were odd, gory, abstract and stuff you wouldn't normally watch...but hey, it was the 70's and we know what a bizzaro decade that was. So this was the excuse to shock and awe the audience by putting these pointless exercises on celluloid.
The main interest for me was the interviews with Jim Jarmusch and Steve Buscemi. Yeah it's the Steve Buschemi we all know and love. He was in one of the early one of these films...it was where he started his acting career. Out of the whole assortment of Directors they talk to and mention Jim Jarmusch is the only one, to this day, who gets mentioned in film circles as a really good film maker. Why? simple...because even though his films are still kind of odd, they are watchable. They have a goal at the end of each one. They're not meandering collages of part shock and art film with no point. They aren't just moving images...they're actual stories.
It was funny to sit and listen to some of these directors sit and talk about how great their stuff was and I can guarantee that 99% of the film viewing world hasn't even heard of these people. This is one of these cases where it's in New York so it's important and has meaning and it sets a trend. Well, problem is...it didn't. These were just poor broke people who ran around with 8mm cameras trying to fit into a scene in NY at the time and now they can sit back and talk about their triumph...or their perceived triumph.
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