Seward Park Library Celebrates the 80s on Film

Jim Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation plays at the Seward Park Library tonight.

Tonight, the Seward Park  Library begins the second phase of its 2012 Lower East Side Heritage Film Series with a special focus: the eighties. The branch has been screening films shot on the Lower East Side every month since October, and will now present little-known gems from that gritty decade.

Jim Jarmusch’s first feature film, Permanent Vacation, plays tonight in the basement of the library building, located at 192 East Broadway off Jefferson Street. The movie tracks the wanderings of a 16-year-old through familiar streets, and the characters he encounters (including his schizophrenic mother and a junkie jazz enthusiast) are compelling amalgams of LES lore. The free screening begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs 75 minutes.


Renegade Artists/Filmmakers From the ’70s and ’80s Featured in “Blank City,” Opening Tonight

Eszter Balint in Jim Jarmusch’s film Stranger Than Paradise, featured in Blank City. Photo courtesy of the Squat Theater Archives, via

Blank City, a documentary about the renegade artists living, playing and collaborating on the Lower East Side in the late ’70s and early ’80s, opens today at the IFC Film Center.  The film, made by newcomer Céline Danhier, made the rounds in the top festivals last year and arrives back in NYC with some great reviews.

Danhier combines rare footage from the downtown avant-garde film scene at the time, sometimes called the “No Wave” movement or the “Cinema of Transgression,” with interviews of the artists who are still around today. You’ll recognize Debbie Harry, Jim Jarmusch, Patti Smith, Steve Buscemi, Sara Driver, Lydia Lunch, Amos Poe, John Waters, John Lurie, Eric Mitchell and Susan Seidelman, to name a few. Watch the trailer after the jump.