The first official trailer for CBGB was released early this morning (Friday). The film is already creating a lot of buzz thanks to the all star cast. The film is led by Director Randall Miller and written by Miller and Jody Savin. The story starts in 1973, after two bankruptcies and an acrimonious divorce, the ever-determined Hilly Kristal (ALAN RICKMAN) borrowed money to buy the Palace Bar, a watering hole for the indigent of what was then New York’s seething skid row. Hilly had a dream. He wanted to give a stage to live musicians, albeit Country, Bluegrass and Blues musicians. Thus the acronym CBGB.
When it proved impossible to book the likes of Conway Twitty on The Bowery, Hilly opened his doors to local talent. The bands that came were primitive and unrehearsed, but by giving them a stage, Hilly gave them a forum in which to grow. Variously angry, nihilistic, political and raw, this music was a radical departure from the disco and ultra studio produced rock of the times. It was fundamentally DIY.
Audiences responded to the egalitarian nature of the CBGB bands. It was an antidote to the harsh socio-political times. Nixon was impeached. New York was on the verge of bankruptcy. Ford was refusing to bail the city out.
But the music did not have a name until Punk Magazine was established in the Connecticut basement of the parents of a young illustrator named John Holmstrom (JOSH ZUCKERMAN) who gave a signature look to the movement. Filled with irreverence and irony, the magazine lent a kind of aberrant formality to the downtown music scene. Punk was born. And the world of music was changed forever.
In a statement to the press Miller said, “Creating New York City’s the Bowery in the early 70s was just about the farthest I could possibly get from the pastoral settings of Napa. The richness of inner-city color, dirty as it may have been, drew me to create a rich palette of greens and blues that populate the club settings. I traded landscapes for grit, grapes for grain. Authenticity was key.
The director continued, “In a deal we made with the owners of the now defunct CBGB club, we were able to populate the sets with pieces of the original club which were in storage in Brooklyn: the bar itself with all its history of beer, puke and piss; the worn front doors through which passed those thousands of famous and not-so-famous; the phone booth, a signature of the club; the cash register with all its stories to tell; the toilets; pieces of the walls; the neon; the sticker covered speakers; parts of the stage; and even Hilly’s original desk. These artifacts were tantamount for authenticity both visually and viscerally.”
Starring Alan Rickman, Malin Akerman, Justin Bartha, Richard de Klerk, Johnny Galecki, Ashley Greene, Rupert Grint, Taylor Hawkins, Stana Katic, Donal Logue, Joel David Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Mickey Sumner, Bradley Whitford.
To see the fully gallery of the cast: facebook/theslanted