N.Y.H. C. | Chicago Reader

N.Y.H. C.

The title stands for “New York hardcore,” and this video documentary by Frank Pavich offers a comprehensive look at the city's underground music scene, from its origins in punk to the present. There's much concert footage of bands like Crown of Thornz, 25 Ta Life, and District 9—with subtitles for the screamed lyrics—but with so much leaping about and shedding of clothes it's sometimes hard to distinguish the performers from the audience. The fans and musicians interviewed stress that hardcore is a lifestyle (which is already evident from their tattoos and piercings) and describe their difficult family lives, their mundane day jobs, and the injuries they've sustained in concerts. Most decry commercialism and the homogenized values of franchised America, but Pavich's style is utterly mainstream: his pans, zooms, and talking heads convey the movement's energy but hardly amount to a new way of seeing.

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