Blank City review

A no-budget, DIY, indie from the '70s

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The underground art scene of late-’70s New York gets a lively revival in Celine Danhier’s documentary.

There’s a question of whether the efforts of no-budget filmmakers such as Amos Poe, Richard Kern, Charlie Ahearn and others are truly as groundbreaking as Blank City suggests, but this is an illuminating look at the DIY independent practice dubbed No Wave.

Clips of the artists’ output fascinate, and there’s no shortage of wattage among the talking heads, from John Waters to Deborah Harry. But the film works best as a love letter to a grubbier, poorer era in Manhattan history.