Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Blank Generation

by David Ensminger

2 December 2010


By former high-art German auteur Ulli Lommel, this film meanders through vignettes and Warholian moments—impressionistic gazes and raw naïve acting. A German woman falls in love with a bohemian, played by dashing but wooden Richard Hell. Warning: the story-line is paper-thin, bursting with improbable hipster dialog.

Studios, bars, and streets make up the murky tableau as they navigate the end of punk rock’s salad days, when profits mattered more than St. Marks Poetry readings. Warhol even shows up, like an icy, surreal mannequin barely morphing into a human. Incredible live footage captures cavernous, cathedral-lit CBGBs with nimble Voidoids wreckage.

The extra interview with wooly bearded Hell and historian and cultural critic Luc Sante is informative and informal. This is a prime art-house 1980 time-capsule for cold month nostalgia—perfect for the metrosexual, urbane rocker on your list.

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