Go ‘Nightclubbing’ with Punk Screenings at the Anthology Film Archives this Weekend
Clear your calendar for the next few days. This weekend, the Anthology Film Archives is digging deep to host series showcasing time capsule footage from the exceptional Go Nightclubbing library of Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong. There will be four separate screenings comprising seven different compilation programs of the downtown Punk/New Wave scene in the late-seventies.
Each of the selected “programs” features interviews and live footage from the downtown scene during the years between 1977 and 1980. Before MTV dipped its toe in the waters, these women were front-and-center documenting the burgeoning movement on tape. Yet, the content of the films is not the only throwback; the location of the screening is, too.
“We did a weekly series of NIGHTCLUBBING at Anthology in 1979 when nobody downtown had cable TV but you could go to Anthology at midnight to see it,” Armstrong told us in an email. “It was very controversial that we were showing “video” and not “film.”
“As a cameraperson, I think I was blessed to have the female gaze when I looked at the bands,” Ivers noted. “It was intimate and unblinking and I was right on top of them. I think I always fell in love a little bit when I looked through the lens. What can I say, I loved that music!”
Below is the description and full slate of screenings at the Anthology. Ivers and Armstrong will be in attendance for Q&A after each program.
Video artists Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong, in the pre-MTV days from 1977-80, spent their nights documenting New York’s nascent punk and No Wave scenes. Armed with Portapak cameras, they shot rare performances and interviews with the Dead Boys, Iggy Pop, the Heartbreakers, John Cale, the Cramps, Sun Ra, the Go-Go’s, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Chance and the Contortions, Richard Hell, and countless others at legendary clubs like CBGB’s, Mudd Club, and Danceteria. Described by the New York Times as the “Lewis and Clark of Rock video,” Ivers and Armstrong originally presented their work on the show NIGHTCLUBBING, in the early days of cable TV. Since then, their footage has been presented at museums and galleries around the world. Ivers’s and Armstrong’s iconic 1980 video installation at the opening of the influential Danceteria nightclub pioneered the concept of video as a permanent feature in a nightclub and of the video DJ as artist.