The Filmography Of Cool

There’s something unendingly compelling about New York City’s downtown No Wave scene, which was peopled by Lydia Lunch and James Chance and bands like the Contortions, DNA and the Bush Tetras: In terms of coolness, today’s hipsters can’t even reach the shoe-laces of that underground set and its smoldering intellectual milieu. Still, the scene lives on — at least for educational purposes — in the work of such No Wave filmmakers as Jim Jarmusch and Amos Poe, whose disillusioned film poems and punk manifestos defined the time and place. Blank City, a new documentary by Céline Danhier, tells their story; it opens today at the Denver FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue.

“I’m a sucker for the creative life that was coming out of New York City in the early ’80s. I was a baby then, but I grew up listening to and watching all those people in the No Wave movement,” says FilmCenter programmer Keith Garcia. “And there was a whole chunk of history I had no idea of until later, when I realized, ‘Oh, they made movies, too?’ Blank City makes for a unique backstory, taking you right into the era and the films they made.” That story includes interviews with everyone from John Waters to Thurston Moore and a musical soundtrack driven by such artists as Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Sonic Youth and more.

Blank City is scheduled to run at the DFCC through May 12; tickets range from $7.25 to $9.75. For showtimes and other information, visit or call 303-595-3456.
May 6-12, 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd