Here’s an excellent BBC documentary on the origins of punk, hip hop and disco in the New York City of the 1970s. It was a hard time in the city but it held a wild energy that kept pressing up and inventing new things. What hit me about this film is how good Patti Smith really is.
New York since then, however, seems to have signed an unlimited contract with the Gap as a retail outlet. I think anyone with a streak of punkishness in them moves out to Los Angeles.
As I was driving yesterday, I was thinking about my latest film work and muddling through half-formed thoughts about how, whether anyone likes it or not, Los Angeles is the center of art in the United States. New York has become too much associated with the 20th century’s industrial approach to art. Los Angeles, it seemed to me inside my comfortable car, is where it’s at.