Filmmaker Amos Poe’s “No Wave” classics Subway Riders, The Foreigner and Unmade Beds will come out on DVD Sept. 29 from MVD Entertainment Group.
“No wave” was a short-lived avant-garde music and art scene that erupted in New York City in the late 1970s as a reaction to punk rock. The term “no wave” was a pun on “new wave.” The movement only lasted a few years, but had a profound influence on the development of independent film, fashion and visual arts.
Subway Riders is 1981 drama shot in New York City following a psychotic street saxophonist who lures victims into dark city spots with his haunting music — then shoots them. Seedy characters, including a cop with a junkie wife, an upstairs sax-hating prostitute and other lost souls litter the landscape. Written, produced and directed by legendary “punk filmmaker” Poe (Alphabet City, Dead Weekend), the film features Cookie Mueller (Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living), Susan Tyrell (Cry Baby, Forbidden Zone), Robbie Coltrane (“Harry Potter” series), Poe and John Lurie (Get Shorty).
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The Foreigner, for the first time ever on DVD, is a 1978 New York drama following European Max Menace who arrives in New York City on an unknown mission. Boredom sets in as he waits for his assignment. Alienation thrusts him into entanglements with women, weirdos and creeps. Their unstructured lives echo the purposefully meandering storyline reflecting the reality of being meaningless in a hostile city. Written, produced and directed by Poe, the film features Debbie Harry (lead singer of Blondie, Videodrome), Poe, Lux Interior (The Social Network) and the punk band The Cramps as themselves.
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Also written, produced and directed by Poe, Unmade Beds, also starring Harry, is a 1976 drama following Rico in New York City, who imagines he lives in Paris during the time of “New Wave” filmmaking. He’s a photographer who thinks he’s an outsider, so he uses his camera like a gun, loading it with bullets of film. He seeks reality to fulfill his fantasy. But he’s also a romantic, and this is his downfall, especially when he falls in love with Blondie. The film pays homage to Jean Luc Godard as it parallels the French classic Breathless. It also stars Poe and Robert Gordon (Natural Born Killers).