Teleport City’s roundtable contribution is in effect:
Amid the ruin and confusion of 1970s New York, a group of (primarily white) young artists, freaks, punks, and weirdos decided they were going to become movie makers, the cinematic branch of No Wave, new wave’s slightly stranger, more chaotic sibling. At the same time, uptown and in The Bronx, a group of (primarily black and Hispanic) young artists, freaks, dancers, and weirdos were pioneering a creative lifestyle that would become known as Hip Hop. The two scenes intersected frequently, and when no wave film maker Charlie Ahearn was stopped by a group of black kungfu students who wanted to know what he was doing with a movie camera, DEADLY ART OF SURVIVAL was born. It’s more interesting as a historic piece than an actual film, a fascinating (to me) cocktail of punk, New York, black culture, martial arts and the role kungfu films played in black urban life, and a celebration of a dude who was being paid in pizza but was still willing to get kungfu kicked into the 1978 East River.
Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.