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No Wave & Cinema of Transgression


On the occasion of the David Wojnarowicz. History Keeps Me Awake at Night exhibition at Mudam, the Luxembourg City Cinémathèque programmes the film series “1980s NYC Underground Cinema”.

Thu 09.01.2020 | 18h30
Blank City
Documentary by: Céline Danhier
Starring: Richard Kern, John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Debbie Harry
Festival international du film de Berlin – Berlinale 2010
USA 2010. 94 min. In English. French subtitles.
New York in the late 1970s. Manhattan was then poor and filthy, infested with rats, the neighborhood of new immigrants and artists. Whether in the field of music, art, fashion or experimental cinema, the art scene was full of new talent. This documentary looks back at this dark, trashy, and fruitful period.
“An absorbing snapshot of a daring time.” (LA Times)
“The no-wave underground cinema of late 70s New York gets a work-out in this admiring documentary by French-born director Céline Danhier.” (The Guardian)

Mon 13.01.2020 | 18h30
4 Films by Richard Kern

(Over 17 years old only)
“With a significant number of the most provocative films and videos from the 1980s underground scene to his credit, artist and photographer Richard Kern is the undisputed master of transgressive cinema. A hard-core social satirist, he makes work that is by turns perverse, sadistic, theatrically bizarre, and darkly humorous, pursuing his interest in lives at the extreme and a fascination with the ‘geography of faces and bodies.’ Lydia Lunch, Leg Lung, Tommy Turner, Nick Zedd, David Wojnarowicz, and Sonic Youth are among the legendary downtown artists whose collaborations with Kern are featured.” (Museum of Modern Art – Moma)

Programme :

Death Valley 69
USA 1985. 6 min. In English.
Starring: Lung Leg, Tommy Turner, Lydia Lunch
Clip of the eponymous song by Sonic Youth and Lydia Lunch, reflecting the violence that accompanies the disillusionment of the student struggle generation.

You Killed Me First
USA 1985. 12 min. In English.
Starring: David Wojnarowicz, Karen Finley, Lung Leg
A Thanksgiving dinner turns to carnage when a rebellious girl revolts. Anthem against the bourgeois morality.

Manhattan Love Suicides (Parts 1–4)
USA 1985. 35 min. In English.
Starring: Nick Zedd, David Wojnarowicz, Bill Rice
A young man, obsessed with a painter, follows the latter through his daily activities without the painter seeming to notice him in the least. Wojnarowicz's genial mimics, all in spasms and grimaces.

USA 1985. 22 min. In English.
Starring: Lung Leg, Lydia Lunch, Clint Ruin
(Some sexually explicit scenes may offend the sensibilities of unsuspecting people)
Lydia Lunch works for a chatline and occasionally prostitutes herself. While turning a trick, she finds herself embarked on an ultra violent journey with a client...

Tue 21.01.2020 | 18h30
Permanent Vacation

By: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Chris Parker, John Lurie, Leila Gastil
USA 1985. 75 min. In English. French subtitles.
Two and a half days in the life of Aloysious Parker, called Allie, a young vagabond adrift in a dilapidated New York, meeting people who, like him, live on the borders of a world they don't know how to live in...
“Jim Jarmusch is and will probably always be a no-wave director at heart, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his early works. In 1980’s Permanent Vacation, his first feature film, literally nothing happens.” (Westword)
“It’s a must-see for anyone who shares the belief that Mr. Jarmusch is the most arresting and original American film maker to come out of the 1980’s.” (The New York Times)
“Aloysius Parker is the prototype for many of Jarmusch’s subsequent loner heroes: he loafs aimlessly around his scuzzy apartment and crumbling New York streets reading French poetry, flirting with cute girls at Nicholas Ray screenings, stealing cars, and obsessing over his half-punk, half-dandy image. Permanent Vacation is a touching vision of what it was like to be head over heels with art, love, and oneself in late-1970s New York.” (Indiewire)

David Wojnarowicz in "Manhattan Love Suicides" by Richard Kern