Just by chance I heard about this documentary film and by even more remote chance, it was part of Birmingham’s FlatPack film festival.
The reason for my interest in Blank City is because it details Lower East Side, New York in the late 1970s, into the 1980s where seemingly everyone made films. Not being a film geek, I recognised very few film makers but it was great to see people like Deborah Harry being interviewed alongside all these film clips made by people literally on the street or in squats.
The neighbourhood then, particularly Alphabet City way out to the East Side – a place I only ventured to a few years ago after many years of visiting the city – was an absolute no-go area. As is documented, residents feared for their life every day walking back and forth but on the plus side they didn’t have any belongings or money so thieves knew there was nothing to be stolen. It was more of a narcotics thing and as well as the drugs scene, Aids came to be around this time so there is talk of lost lives.
Really, it’s amazing to see people survive as so little was known in the very early eighties.
I loved this film from the popular culture angle but film makers and geeks – and indeed photographers will enjoy the artistic element.
Smile factor 8½/10