Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Blank Generation" DVD (director: Ulli Lommel)

Filmed back in 1978 during the heyday of New York's lower East side art scene, this film starred a young Richard Hell as Billy, a struggling musician who becomes entangled with a beautiful (but slightly crazy) French journalist named Nada, (played by a rather wooden Carole Bouquet). Their relationship is volatile and rather obtuse, with several side-stories attached to both characters that don't make sense or contribute to the overall "plot". Nonetheless, as a time capsule of an amazingly creative time and place, this well-filmed document is a must for fans lamenting the loss of the influential 70's-80's NY arts scene and CBGB's (which is featured prominently in "Blank Generation"). As well, several performances by Richard Hell and the Voidoids are quite worthwhile, although the same couple of songs are repeated throughout ad nauseam. A neat cameo by Andy Warhol himself also adds a certain name value here, though he doesnt play an essential role. And if the dialogue isn't quite ideal (or emotive), the movie is still enjoyable enough. Hell himself provides a 45-minute interview looking back at his (self-professed) embarrassing screen debut. Sure, it's a flawed film for certain, but I"ve seen a whole lot worse. (MVD Visual)

Richard Hell's official site

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