Wednesday, April 9, 2008

DOWNTOWN 81 (1981)

Downtown 81, formerly known as New York Beat, is a cinéma-vérité style film that follows the legendary NY painter Jean Michel Basquiat around Lower Manhattan in 1980-81. The film is an excellent slice of life from the early 80's NYC art/music scene, featuring appearances by the great art rock band DNA, as well as Debbie Harry, Clem Burke (Blondie), Kid Creole & the Coconuts and The Plastics. A great piece of NY art history.


A seduction. A mystery. A murder.

Body Double is a great Brian De Palma voyeurism thriller from 1984. A bit cheezy, yes. But the first time I saw it, it really gave me the chills. The flick also marks the follow-up to De Palma's 1983 hit Scarface and features Melanie Griffith in an early performance.

Further watching:

Dressed to Kill (1980)
Blow Out (1981)

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Smithereens is such a great movie. A film that captures a raw portrait of the art/rebel life in early eighties Manhattan with a stellar soundtrack that is anchored by The Feelies, with contributions by Richard Hell & the Voivods, ESG, and Singers and Players.

Smithereens is the directorial debut of Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan, Looking For Mr. Right) and stars Susan Berman, Brad Rinn and Richard Hell. Read the original New York Times review here.


Times Square is the perfect early eighties rebel film, preceding the brat pack and wearing its undeniable coolness like a cloak. The flick was directed by Allan Moyle and stars Robin, Johnson, Trini Alvarado, and Tim Curry. The killer new wave soundtrack features Gary Numan, The Ramones, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Patti Smith, The Cure, XTC, Lou Reed, Talking Heads and Suzi Quatro.

This marks the first post in a series that explore the films of the past that may not be masterpieces (some may be downright bad), but for some reason remind me of when (pre-digital) film was an easier format to explore. Those great video store days. Here's to Kult Klassics.