Dir. Daniel Levin and Ben Solomon US - 2008 - 85 min
Since 1979 Clayton Patterson has dedicated his life to documenting the final era of raw creativity and lawlessness in New York City's Lower East Side, a neighbourhood famed for art, music and revolutionary minds. Traversing the outside edge he's recorded a dark and colourful society, from drag to hardcore, heroin, homelessness, political chaos and ultimately gentrification. His odyssey from voyeur to provocateur reveals that it can take losing everything you love to find your own.
Born in 1948, in Calgary, Canada. Studies of art and design at various universities. Fights against the injustice of state-authorities. Since 1977 exhibitions in USA, Europe and Asia. In 1994 he organized the first NOIart show in his gallery after 20 NOlyears. Works as Documentary-, Anarcho-, and Tattoo-artist in New York together with his wife Elsa Rensaa and various social groups. Owns and runs the most voluminous and important NOIart video-archive. Lives in New York.
"A dual portrait of a neighborhood, the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and the man obsessed with documenting its history, Clayton Patterson. "You could be anyone you wanted on the Lower East Side, “ explains Patterson, talking about the pull of the neighbourhood in the 1980s as a place where people came to explore alternative identities: skinhead, gay, artist, junkie. Patterson, a fearless photographer and videographer, is happiest photographing in highly dangerous situations: drug deals, mosh pits, riots. "This is a revolutionary tool. Little Brother is watching Big Brother," he says of the camcorder, referring to its usefulness as a legal and documentary tool for ordinary people.
Much of the film takes on an elegiac tone, as it emphasizes the way that relentless building of new luxury high-rise buildings is destroying the character of the neighbourhood as a haven for persona! experimentation."