BLANK CITY a Must See film of a Cultural Art and Musical Revolution


If you knew better then to think of bringing sandwiches to the first Police Picnic then you would remember when disco died and hairspray bands soon got the Doc Marten Boot from a new and raging scene emerging from, England, New York, and down under, “Punk Rock” was born. The Toronto punk scene was blossoming in the 70’s with venues like Klub Dominoes at 1 Isabella Street. The 3rd floor nightclub that had once been an after hours disco Mrs. Nights, bounced to the tunes of Deejays like Chris Shepherd, Dave Allen, Ivan Palmer and then the video files and charts by Arthur and Brian who’s collection of rarities inspired a new scene of in club visual arts far before digital imaging made it way to the airwaves.

Groups like “Japan, Anti No Where League, The Deserters, UK Subs and Black Flagg” cranked it up to what now became Canada’s number 1 underground scene breaker.

The trend was set and the scene kept growing, Nuts n Bolts, Crash and Burn and the after hour’s scene of Voodoo lounge with Dave Allen & Siabhon spinning tunes at the top of a growing surge for an anti normal society. Reunions are abound with the Klub Dominoes’ Alumni, Bat Cave, with Ivan Palmer and talk of the long over due reunion for the Voodoo club and lounge that are bombarding the cyber blogs and social networks on line.

Many books have been written and films like the “Last Pogo” have been and will be made on this DIY society and art culture of Canada. Now if this means nothing to you then you were not of the Gen X society of the 70’s and 80’s but if this gets your pony running don’t miss Blank City opening tonight at ”The Royal” Toronto.

Blank City is a must see film for anyone who survived the musical revolution of the 70’s usurping even the Love and Hippie movement of the 60’s for on going change in the level of normality. How many Fauxhawks grace our streets today? This pre punk art culture scene of New York when the city was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, has been documented on shoestring  budgets in collaboration with the pioneering musicians, visual artists, performers, and street smart derelicts that ran the downtown streets. The films put together in BLANK CITY are documents of an exhilarating and unique cultural moment that was a forefront to punk rock, hip-hop bringing New York City into the limelight of the international art world. This epoch of underground film has never before been chronicled and now tells the long-overdue tale of a desperate crew of renegade filmmakers who emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history.

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. Featured players include 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, The Bush Tetras, Sonic Youth and many more.

BLANK CITY is a love letter to New York, a cultural portrait of Manhattan in the days before Reagan and gentrification forever altered the fabric of the city. 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. 

Friday July 15th to Thursday July 21st.
The Royal Cinema