Captured: A Film/Video History of the Lower East Side: Edited by Clayton Patterson, 586 pgs. By Mike

Apr 02, 2007

The most direct cousin to music’s DIY underground may be the film movement in the Lower East Side of New York. Super-8 and 16mm film destruction and rebirth has been honed to a disturbing perfection there since the end of World War II. Although certain figures are more famous now—Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, Abel Ferrara—or at least underground legends—Jack Smith, Harry Smith, Jonas Mekas, Amos Poe—the often seedy section of NY was and is full of outsider artists making noise and commentary on the world with a distinctive form of fucked up art. The book is huge, 112 articles and almost as many subjects and contributing writers; I’m still plowing through it. So far, it’s interesting to those familiar with the scene and accessible to newcomers. –Speedway Randy (Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts St, NY, NY, 10013, <>)

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