“Do you have a picture in your head of New York? Does it come from real life? Or the memory of art? I know the New York I see when I close my eyes. It is rooted in history but still basically myth, culled from photographic histories of the births of punk and hip hop, heaven and a wasteland at once, the ugliness of burned out buildings and junk filled vacant lots a perfect backdrop for the flashy junkie youth unknowingly at the vanguard of The Last Great Scene.
The New York I see is the New York Susan Seidelman saw and brought to life in Smithereens, a work that may be fictional but which is nonetheless a pivotal documentary of New York as it dove into oblivion and came back more vivacious than ever. It is the New York of hustle and failure, everyone scheming and conning to get the fame they think they deserve. And our guide to this New York is Susan Berman’s Wren, a budding No Wave icon who always claims to have a million and one places to go, she’s just not sure if any of them are where she wants to be.”