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BLANK CITY tells the long-overdue tale of a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers who emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. From the late 1970's through the mid 80's, when the city was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors crafted daring works that profoundly influenced independent film today.

Directed by French newcomer Céline Danhier, BLANK CITY weaves together an oral history of the “No Wave Cinema” and “Cinema of Transgression” movements through compelling interviews with the luminaries who began it all.

The film features acclaimed directors Jim Jarmusch and John Waters, actor-writer-director Steve Buscemi, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, photographer Richard Kern as well as Amos Poe, James Nares, Eric Mitchell, Susan Seidelman, Beth B, Scott B, Charlie Ahearn and Nick Zedd. Fittingly, the soundtrack includes: Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Contortions, Sonic Youth and many more.

Made on shoestring budgets in collaboration with the pioneering musicians, visual artists, performers, and derelicts that ruled Downtown, the films surveyed in BLANK CITY are fitting documents of an exhilarating and unique cultural moment. This same legendary-but-fleeting period likewise birthed punk rock, hip-hop and Madonna, and brought New York City to the forefront of the international art world. Unlike the revered musical revolution of this era, this epoch of underground film has never before been chronicled.

BLANK CITY is a love letter to New York, a cultural portrait of Manhattan in the days before Reagan, big money, and gentrification forever altered the fabric of the city. Though a look back, the heart of BLANK CITY does not live in the past. In this new age of digital democracy, the maverick spirit of the New York Underground has risen again in emerging creative communities worldwide. The Do-It-Yourself ethos, audacious storytelling, and sense of urgency guiding "No Wave" and the "Cinema of Transgression" are more relevant and inspiring than ever.

'Blank City' provides a vivid, vicarious tour (through) a fascinating place and time, bringing it back to life and tracing its continuing influence...with as much insight as will fit into 95 minutes. In this it succeeds beautifully."

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"Generous glimpses of rare, virtually lost films, from Jarmusch's "Permanent Vacation" to Beth B's "Vortex" and Amos Poe's hilarious cheapo remake of Godard's "Breathless...the then-unknown Ramones and Patti Smith at CBGBs, Debbie Harry wandering vaguely apocalyptic streets and a young Buscemi breakdancing."

“New York City’s No Wave film movement gets the tribute it richly deserves.”

“Celine Dahnier’s film contains extraordinary footage of downtown Manhattan in the 70s, a burned-out and abandoned cityscape in ruins that formed the perfect backdrop to the bands & film-makers...steeped in exhilarating alienation & mordant wit.”      

UK Theatrical Release March 2 at the ICA, London
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