Dirty Old Town is a “going-out-of-business-and-going-insane” tale by youngtrio Jenner Furst, Daniel B
Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. In association with Blowback Productions and Executive Producer Marc Levin, this debut feature narrative is emblematic of a new wave in low-budget filmmaking that seeks to redefine the independent landscape.
The project was spun from Levin and Furst’s previous documentary Captured which chronicled the transformation of the Lower East Side through renegade documentarian, artist and activist Clayton Patterson. In addition to Patterson, many of the same characters from “Captured” including Billy Leroy and his famed Antique Tent, form an ensemble cast of self- inspired neo-realist players. Much of the film was staged on live corners and locations unbeknownst to the public, arresting a signature spontaneity only found on the streets of Downtown New York.
In this gonzo tone poem, Bowery Billy Leroy has 72 hours to save his star-crossed Junk Store from extinction. Longtime actor and nightlife legend Nicky D steers a cosmic catastrophe into resolution as the half-baked “John Wayne” of Mott Street.
There are also first-time acting debuts from the film’s Producer Paul Sevigny, the restauranteur and Club Guru, Ashley Graham the young full-bodied super model and Janell Shirtcliff, who plays the film’s siren and female lead. The score includes choice musical contributions from established indies like Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elvis Perkins in Dearland and A.R.E. Weapons. Also featuring new songs from singer-songwriters Lorraine Leckie and Chelsea Crowell.
Filmmakers Furst, Levin and Nason used vibrant characters and locations, both real and fictional, to form an eclectic collage, working with available materials and turning film into found art. Executive Producer Marc Levin calls this project “An Absurdist Valentine to a disappearing City”.
This past summer, the team unveiled the work for a select audience of New York City independents and press. In the spirit of underground folklore, Downtown film legend Abel Ferrara presented the screening to an eager crowd of enthusiasts including independent luminary Jim Jarmusch, who left the theater raving along with Vogue Italia and BlackBook Magazine.
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