Blank City

Directed by Céline Danhier

Year: 2011
Running Time: 95
Color Type: Color and B&W
Country: U.S.
Language: English [audio]
Genres: Documentary
Shop Home Video

Blank City

Thurston Moore
Richard Kern
John Waters
Amos Poe
Eric Mitchell
Jim Jarmusch
John Lurie
Steve Buscemi
Fab 5 Freddy
Lydia Lunch
Debbie Harry

Produced by Aviva Wishnow and Vanessa Roworth
Composed by Ecce Homo
Directed by Céline Danhier

BLANK CITY is an "absorbing snapshot of a daring time" (LA Times) when a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. From the late 1970's through the mid 80's, when the East Village was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors created bold works that would go on to profoundly influence the development of independent film as we know it today.

Made on DIY shoestring budgets with the pioneering musicians, visual artists, performers, and derelicts that ruled Downtown, the films surveyed in BLANK CITY are fitting documents of an exhilarating cultural landscape. Director Céline Danhier 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, and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.

Crafted with rare extraordinary footage and first-person testimony, BLANK CITY is a poetic love letter to New York and its artists, an intimate portrait conjuring "a glorious and grungy bygone past." (NY Times)

"BLANK CITY provides a vivid, vicarious tour..." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"[A] passionate chronicle of cinematic rebellion... A smoldering and riotous work about a time when art seemed dangerous..." - Film Journal

"Above and beyond the juicy interest of the vibrantly sordid, flailing-but-thriving rock-and-cinema "No Wave" scene from a bygone NYC that it chronicles, Céline Danhier's Blank City is simply excellent documentary filmmaking; Danhier has done the research and pounded the pavement to gather the raw materials, then spent what appears to be considerable time and effort coalescing it into a streamlined but conscientious whole. The film is the best kind of labor of love, a passion project whose passion never overrides its rigorous dedication to doing justice to its subject. It's also a wild, sometimes actually disconcerting trip back into perhaps the last pre-Manhattan-gentrification, pre-Internet vestige of truly rebellious punk-rock/art-world hybridization, and even those with only a passing interest in the scene itself will find much to marvel at and be absorbed, enlightened, and entertained by here. Highly Recommended. - DVD Talk

Interested in bringing Blank City to your school or library? If you'd like to have an in-class viewing, on-campus screening, or purchase the DVD for your library's collection, please contact Jeff Tamblyn or call (212) 629-6880 with your request.

Blank City may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Jeff Tamblyn or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.

To read more about Kino Lorber Edu's terms of use and ordering information, visit Kino Lorber Edu.

Join the conversation
@KinoLorber on Oct. 23 2016 at 8:13pm
RT @TOWERfilm: . @AustinChronicle Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #TOWERtogether @drafthouse @FilmForumNYC @V…
@KinoLorber on Oct. 22 2016 at 12:30pm
RT @SA_Drafthouse: Canada does horror, and we love it. With a brand new restoration courtesy of @KinoLorber! TICKETS to THE PIT: https://t…
@KinoLorber on Oct. 21 2016 at 4:33pm
RT @screening_room_: Reminder that we have a 2nd showing of Mayan-language hit Ixcanul at 1:15pm on Saturday for those who weren't able to…
@KinoLorber on Oct. 21 2016 at 4:32pm
RT @TOWERfilm: #Win tickets to @TOWERfilm in #NYC or #Austin today! Tweet a selfie with #TOWERtogether & who you'll bring. Tag @TOWERfilm h…
@KinoLorber on Oct. 21 2016 at 4:31pm
RT @BilgeEbiri: On the two very different movies battling each other in Gianfranco Rosi's (magnificent) FIRE AT SEA:
@KinoLorber on Oct. 21 2016 at 4:25pm
RT @nofilmschool: How Gianfranco Rosi made an anti-documentary: @KinoLorber
@KinoLorber on Oct. 21 2016 at 8:17am
RT @YorkshireTX: If you live in Austin, or you worry about gun violence, or you love documentaries, you need to see @TOWERfilm…
@KinoLorber on Oct. 21 2016 at 8:15am
RT @nytimes: "Fire at Sea" offers an impressionistic tour of Lampedusa, an island turned upside down by the migrant crisis…
@KinoLorber on Oct. 20 2016 at 5:56pm
Fire at Sea is a @nytimes Critics' Pick! “Fire at Sea” occupies your consciousness": Opens tomorrow w/dir. Q&As.
@KinoLorber on Oct. 20 2016 at 5:43pm
RT @BilgeEbiri: FIRE AT SEA is incredible, monumental, devastating, and must be seen.
Tweet Now!

Inquiries & Press

General Inquiries

Kino Lorber, Inc.
333 W. 39th St., Ste. 503
New York, NY 10018
Tel. (212) 629-6880
Tel. (800) 562-3330
Fax. (212) 714-0871

Press & Media

For publicity assistance and press inquiries please contact us by emailing or calling 212-629-6880.


Please visit our educational site at

For assistance with educational orders, please contact us at:

Fax: 212-714-0871