New Sci-fi Film Explores the Dystopian Spaces of New York’s Ruins
January 20, 2012
“The Silent City” tells the story of one man’s fight to survive in a post-apocalyptic New York ravaged by zombies and/or rabid “others.” Sound familiar? But “Silent City,” written and directed by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Rubidium Wu, shares only its premise with the glut of studio-backed sci-fi blockbusters; it lacks the budget of those astonishingly expensive baubles periodically released throughout the year–a disaster movie for every season (except spring)! What Wu’s film will offer, however, is a “smart, meaningful” story told through “the real-life abandoned, disused spaces of New York.” As Wu explains on the project’s Kickstarter page, “Because of the costs of filmmaking, this genre of cinema has long been the domain of the megaplex. No longer. With advances in filmmaking, and your help, we believe the time has come for a independent, haunting, exciting post-apocalyptic series.”
I would add that the low-budget genre movie, though far from ubiquitous, has existed since at least the ’50s, during the height of horror/sci-fi B-movies like Ed Wood’s Planet 9 from Outer Space, before being reappropriated by the likes of Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Werner Herzog. Interestingly, Wu has decided to parcel out his film in bite-size clips, each 5 minutes in length, which he will post to the project’s website. Whether by design or budget constraints–one usually follows the other–the format effectively frees up the story from the confines of the hermetic world of fiction, providing opportunities for the filmmakers to make off-the-cuff revisions which react, in some capacity, to real-time events. Click through to find out how you can support the film.