Words by Bea Mustocea, Wednesday 27 September 2017
Sharing is caring dear traveller; each week, a member of our knowledgeable team of locals shares their insider knowledge on what’s hot and happening in and around our nests.
Unlike the rest of the world’s favourite metropolises, New York has always been a blank canvas. Whereas with London or Paris you’d have a heritage of history to set the mood for the atmosphere of later eras, New York’s nostalgic allure has been molded by its effervescent urban culture, by decades of wild days and nights. The Barbican’s latest season is an all around appreciation of Basquiat and, to prepare, they’ve curated a series of events that act as an ode to these times that shaped and inspired the artist. The Grime and The Glamour 1976-90 is a series of screenings invoking the most rebellious years in NYC history. And yes, Desperately Seeking Susan is showing. With the best of the creative wave originating in East Village showing, we’ve made our picks, so you don’t have to.
Jarmusch’s often overlooked first directorial effort is a true time capsule to a bygone punk Manhattan, a documentation of all the rubble and the grime around. Allie, the protagonist, is the misfit that anticipates all of Jarmusch’s later characters, a punk in pursuit of something bigger, of identity, of some sort of meaning. And since the point of this series of screening is to find a way to evoke the desolate charm of those years that inspired Basquiat, Jarmusch’s film then becomes quite emblematic, that sought after grime shaping it both aesthetically and on a production level, as the tight budget is nothing if not reflective of all the creative efforts of the era.
Desperately Seeking Susan
Cult feminist classic and huge stepping stone in the making of Madonna, Desperately Seeking Susan is a joyful and carefree excursion through NY and the downtown Zeitgeist and thus perhaps a more unusual pick considering that punk here is more of the costume lent to a screwball comedy. With Seidelman, the director, proceeding to direct the pilot of Sex and The City and of course, Madonna becoming the star we all know and love, cult status was only the logical outcome.
The Grime and the Glamour: 1976-90 runs at The Barbican centre from 29 September to 5 Oct. For tickets and more details, go here.