Most people reading this probably weren’t around to experience New York City’s punk scene in its heyday. Yet, stories of CBGB’s and the now-legendary bands that defined that downtown era are vividly ingrained in our collective memory, thanks in large part to photographer David Godlis, the subject of this week’s Staff Pick Premiere.
In the mid-1970s, Godlis was a young street photographer looking for interesting subjects when he found his way to CBGB’s and discovered an underground world filled with a magnetic cast of characters. With a front row seat to music history in the making, Godlis captured some of the earliest photographs of legendary bands like The Ramones, Blondie, Television, and the Talking Heads.
Now, over four decades later, Godlis has opened up his immense archive to animators Lewie and Noah Klosters and finally tells his story. In “Shots In The Dark with David Godlis,” the Klosters transport us back in time using Godlis’ photographs, animated to life with a punk rock, DIY-style that includes hand cut frames and black-and-white watercolor. Rounding out the film’s immersive experience is a lively survey of punk tunes that bring us as close as we’re going to get to being on Bowery ourselves.