The so-called No Wave period of artistic expression, which flourished in 70s and 80s New York, was one of the last times artistic subcultures truly intermingled. It was a time when starving artists were really starving not playing at trust-fund stuff and the city was teeming with rats and drugs. The Bowery was a desolate stretch of passed-out winos and dingy underground clubs, not a place where you could eat a Daniel Boulud burger and shop for John Varvatos. This was after punk but before New Wave glossed it up and commercialized it. So for the ultimate avant-garde-ists who made up the No Wave movement, there was no hope of financial success, and they were free to create some of the weirdest, genre-hopping work around. Musicians made paintings, and photographers sang songs, and vice versa all down the line, with everyone afterpartying together until the wee hours.
French director Céline Dahniers new documentary, Blank City, follows No Wave as the starting point of the so-called cinema of transgression. Whatever your particular favorite medium, though, youll die at the list of cool-kid icons featured: Jim Jarmusch, Debbie Harry, Steve Buscemi, Fab 5 Freddy, Thurston Moore, Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, John Waters. And the soundtrack? Richard Hell, Sonic Youth, the Bush Tetras, et al. Check out the movie this Thursday at 9:15 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. Collect 1,000 hipster points; do not pass go.
Thu., June 30, 9:15 p.m., 2011