Saturday, November 15, 2014

DOC NYC 2014 -Banksy Does New York and Salad Days

I got in after 1AM and I'm tired.

This was my first night at DOC NYC and it was a good night with Mondo, Chocko and Mr C at SVA. After meeting at a bagel place (where the lovely Sotoko was waiting with the guys) we headed over to the SVA Theater for the evenings films.

BANKSY DOES NEW YORK is an HBO documentary premiereing Monday night on the channel. The film is a look at Banksy's New York residency in New York last October when he gave the city anew piece of art every day- which had to be found.

Assembled largely from the video of the people who were chasing the art, the film is a New Yorker's eye look at the art scavenger hunt.

For me it's a wonderful way to see all of the art as well as get caught up in the hunt once more. Its definitely worth seeing on HBO.

Interestingly, during the very brief Q&A the director and producer said that Banksy wasn't involved in the film (which was done after the fact) until they were halfway done.They said he gave them notes and supplied some images and video to them

After the film went outside and got on line for SALAD DAYS.

As we waited to go in Carroll Spinney, his wife and Oscar had come out of the evenings I AM BIG BIRD screening and were now holding court under the marquee talking to everyone who approached him. I,as well as several others went over to see him. Other arrivals stormed over to him excitedly from the line taking out the ropes that kept us corralled.

SALAD DAYS is a look at the DC punk scene from 1980 to1990(roughly). Filled with everyone who was anyone in the scene the film documents the days and nights of the various punk bands.

For me the film is annoyingly near great.

The problem for me is that the film is missing some key things that would make it perfect for everyone-

First the film doesn't bring you into the story so much as drop you into it.There isn't a set up as a few statements and away we go with little context for things. What was things like before,really. Having Henry Rollins talk about how music had to be wonderfully produced until he heard the Ramones is okay but it doesn't say enough. What was the music scene like before? What about outside of DC?  We don't know- the whole thing is a bubble.

Next the film kind of assumes you know what they are talking about. There are times where people are talking about events that I had no context for....

...which brings me to the last point the film just jumps to a new segment-say the funk band or female bands- with out really linking them into the narrative. We're just on to the next thing. I understand they want to stay away from a narrator or intertitles but some links are needed.

To be honest the problems could be solved if the film were longer-lord knows there has to be enough material, I mean dozens of people are interviewed, put more in and make it flow. I won't mind since what is here is so compelling I would have sat for another 100 minutes without a problem.

Whats here is choice and amazing (with Dave Grohl's kick ass final statement about DIY sending us off) its just missing a little something

Okay- Its 217AM as I finish this- Time for bed

More reports and reviews tomorrow

More pictures from today can be found at our Tumblr page.

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