No Wave Cinema and Nick Zedd Essay

Submitted By prospecthummmer
Words: 543
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NO WAVE CINEMA &
CINEMA OF
TRANSGRESSION
presented by kayla milligan

Eric Mitchell’s
Underground USA
(1980)







1976 – 1984, NYC
Born on the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side
A bare bones approach to guerrilla filmmaking which placed importance on mood and texture above all else
Takes inspiration from the films of Andy Warhol, John Waters, Jack Smith, and the French New Wave

NO WAVE CINEMA







Combines a loose narrative form with abrasive imagery, free from the constraints of the formal art scene at the time
No Wave was fast and cheap – equipment was often stolen, friends played the actors, and wherever the filmmaker stood was the set
Collaboration and availabilism were central

Jim Jarmusch’s
Stranger Than Paradise
(1984)

NO WAVE CINEMA









Filmmakers most associated with No
Wave Cinema include Richard Kern, Eric
Mitchell, Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch,
Charlie Ahearn, and Nick Zedd.
Director Eric Mitchell speaks before the
MOMA screening of his film, Underground
USA (1980)
.
Stranger Than Paradise Trailer (1984) dir.
Jim Jarmusch. A No Wave film that broke into the mainstream and won the “Golden
Camera” at the Cannes Film Festival.
Blank City Trailer (2010) dir. Celine
Danhier. A documentary chronicling the
No Wave era of filmmaking featuring clips from its most important films and interviews with prominent figures of the movement. NO WAVE CINEMA

“It felt like our lives were movies.”
– Debbie Harry
Like many No Wave stars, Harry was both a musician and acted in her friends’ films.
Unmade Beds Trailer (1976) dir. Amos Poe
The Foreigner Trailer (1978) dir. Amos Poe

DEBBIE HARRY:
QUEEN

NO WAVE

In 1985, a new type of filmmaking had begun to further push the boundaries of independent filmmaking in NYC. Spawned from the No Wave movement,
Transgression Cinema’s sole purpose was to shock the viewer with a combination of violence, sex, horror, and a dose of black humor.
The term “transgression” was coined by filmmaker Nick Zedd. To him, the
Transgression movement was about transcending all moral and aesthetical boundaries.

NICK ZEDD:
TRANSGRESSION

FATHER OF

“There will be blood, shame, pain and ecstasy, the likes of which no one has yet imagined!” - Nick Zedd
The Cinema of Transgression Manifesto was written by Zedd, under the pseudonym Orion Jeriko, and was first published in his Underground
Film Bulletin.

NICK…