The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog has a thing for Downtown Calling, a documentary about the rise of New York’s Downtown art scene in the rubble of the broken city:
The film situates our contemporary too-glam, corporate-friendly New York as a direct descendant of those wild days. For once, someone finally makes the case that bombed-out graffiti subway cars were obnoxious to the everyday commuter (thank you, Nelson George). But cleaning up subway cars (which occurred as a way to lure the middle class into the subway system) was a harbinger of New York’s age of prosperity, which in turn shuffled in sky-high rents, bottle clubs and the “Lion King” in Times Square.
The film, which was four years in the making, is still a work in progress, as the producers tinker with clearances and seek distribution, co-producer Ben Velez explained after the screening. Velez and Nicholson are already working on two other documentaries, on New York street gangs and the history of gay activists ACT UP.