Blank Generation Ulli Lommel

Blank Generation Ulli Lommel
Originally released in 1980, Blank Generation is one of punk's premiere fiction films. Starring singer Richard Hell as up-and-coming rock star Billy, we follow his life as documented by Nada (Carole Bouquet), a filmmaker/interviewer chronicling his ascension up the ranks of rock'n'roll. As Nada gets to know Billy, the two eventually become love interests and their volatile relationship must either be solidified or destroyed entirely. Things are complicated further when Nada's other lover comes sniffing around, as he's also a journalist, in the midst of tracking down an interview with Andy Warhol. In essence, Blank Generation's plot is as simple as the music it supports. Yet even with its bad, staggered acting, meandering pace and lack of a serious plot beyond the typical love story, it's somewhat of an essential punk flick. Capturing one of New York's most notorious eras ― the late '70s, when decadence and a general atmosphere of seediness overrode everything, making it the mean metropolis ― there will never be another epoch such as that, making this B-flick enjoyable on other, more historical levels. Still, Blank Generation works best when letting Hell do what he's known for: rockin' out. While the footage of him and then-band the Voidoids is minimal (featuring pre-Ramones drummer Marc Bell), it is entirely fresh, intriguing and unburdened by the rest of the film's awkwardness. Rounded out with an informative, humble and incredibly candid current interview as bonus material, Hell reflects on how the film came to be, recognizes his ineptitude as an actor and laughs with embarrassment at seeing his "self-respect compromised" by participating in a movie that portrayed him as something he wasn't. While Blank Generation is little more than an exercise in novice cinematography, its spirit and connections with some of punk's earliest moments ensure it is a pleasing, if only occasionally endurable, ride. (MVD Visual)