New York 1977: The Coolest Year in Hell [Documentary/Review]

10/10

Year: 2007
Genre: Documentary
Director: Henry Corra
Original Title: –
Source: YouTube

PLOT:
New York City, 1977 – It was a time when the city had fallen into decay, with too few jobs, money, police, schools, and social services. There was a city wide blackout with major looting, a serial killer on the loose, and the Bronx was burning. And yet out of the chaos emerged one of the most creative times any city has ever encountered.

Executive Produced by Academy Award Nominee Nanette Burstein (“The Kid Stays in the Picture”), “NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell” is a two-hour documentary that tells the story of one astonishing year in New York City history. Premiering Saturday, August 11 at 9PM*, the documentary is told chronologically and weaves together the stories of the emergence of hip hop, punk and disco, graffiti art, and sexual liberation. In the background are the major political events and social issues of the day — crime, urban decay, financial woes, the infamous blackout, drugs, Son of Sam, the bitter mayoral election and the overall poverty that gripped the city.

Out of chaos came creation. From the South Bronx came hip hop. From the Lower East Side, the thrashing guitars of punk. And all over the city, a disco revolution was underway. Elaborate, finely crafted graffiti art decorated the subway cars and break-dancers shimmied in the streets. The sexual revolution was in full swing. In January 1977, most of this activity existed in its own underground bubble. Yet by the end of the year this artistic expression was on its way to mainstream America, and would be with us for generations to come.

The documentary uses groundbreaking animation to help tell the story, and features interviews with those who lived it, including Ed Koch, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Breslin, Gloria Gaynor, Afrika Bambaataa, Chris Stein (Blondie), Richard Hell, KRS-One, Grandmaster Caz, DJ Disco Wiz, Legs McNeil, Annie Sprinkle, Al Goldstein, Tommy Ramone, Jellybean Benitez, Lee Quinones, and many more.

The Emmy Nominated “NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell” is the newest film in the VH1 Rock Doc franchise. VH1 Rock Docs are high-end feature-length documentaries that each reveal an untold story in the history of rock and hip-hop music, combining never-before-seen footage with a unique and unconventional narrative approach. The documentaries tell some of the most unique stories of artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles, and musical perspectives.

OPINION:
Amazing documentary about life in New York 1977. This is my #1 place I would go to if I knew how to time travel. I have always loved decadence, it gives me for some reason the feeling of being alive. Here we get to take a trip through the evolution of Hip Hop, with among others KRS-One and Afrika Bambaataa, through porn star Annie Sprinkle and the XXX live shows on 42nd street. The disco scene, the gay scene, the grafitti movement, the serial killer Son of Sam, the Punk rock scene on CGBG’s with Ramones and Richard Hell.

This are all extremely facinating topic to me (maybe not the disco/studio 54 parts), but what takes the cake is the riots when the big blackout accured. Teachers and church going ladies plundered the stores along gang members and others. This all show that the human is at its core a primitive animal with just some nice lacquer. Another thing on the plus side is that we get to hear voices from all sides, police, hookers, rappers, punks etc.

FORMAT:
I watched this on youtube and the quality was really great.

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