New York Times - 04/06/2011
"[Danhier] illuminates a hectic and fascinating place and time, bringing it back to life and tracing its continuing influence."
A.V. Club - 04/07/2011
"[I]t's exciting to see clips from these often-hard-to-find films, and it's rare for a rise-and-fall-of-an-artistic-movement story to have a second act, as BLANK CITY does." -- Grade: B+
Film Comment - 03/01/2011
"[A] terrific documentary about a 30-year-old Lower Manhattan micro-niche. BLANK CITY mixes present-day interviews with a liberal sampling of 'period' imagery, including clips from actual No Wave films..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/26/2011
"Danhier evocatively recaptures this gritty period of anything-goes creativity in the thorough, decidedly non-romanticized documentary BLANK CITY."
Chicago Sun-Times - 07/06/2011 3 stars out of 4 -- "The documentary does a formidable job of sampling countless films now mostly forgotten....It gathers many of the artists, now middle-aged, to recollect a time of heedless youth."
Total Film - 04/01/2012 3 stars out of 5 -- "The underground art scene of late-70's New York gets a lively revival in Celine Danhier's documentary....Clips of the artists' output fascinate..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2012
"Celine Danhier's portrait of the time is brisk, savvy and not overly serious....It's a story as lovely as it is iconic..."
Uncut - 05/01/2012
"Celine Danhier's evocative, slightly elegiac documentary charts the downtown movie movement's scuzzy flowering, mixing new interviews with key ageing players..."
Take a trip back to a time when New York City wasn't all glitz and glamour as filmmaker Celine Danhier offers a look at the birth of "No Wave Cinema" and the vibrant art scene that exploded out of the East Village in the late '70s. In the years before Ronald Reagan took office, Manhattan was in ruins. But true art has never come from comfort, and it was precisely those dire circumstances that inspired artists like Jim Jarmusch, Lizzy Borden, and Amos Poe to produce some of their best works. Taking their cues from punk rock and new wave music, these young maverick filmmakers confronted viewers with a stark reality that stood in powerful contrast to the escapist product being churned out by Hollywood. Interviews with the aforementioned artists as well as Debbie Harry, Steve Buscemi, John Waters, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, and Thurston Moore reveal how a group of young visionaries pooled their resources to birth a film movement that produced some of the most challenging art of the 20th century.
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