Capsule Review: “She Had Her Gun All Ready”

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The World Trade Center makes a surprisingly poignant appearance in Vivienne Dick’s She Had Her Gun All Ready, a seminal film of the No Wave movement that emerged from New York’s punk scene in the late 1970s. Using only a Kodak Super-8 camera, Dick explores the growing rivalry between two woman (played by punk icons Pat Place and Lydia Lunch) while taking the viewer on an impressionistic tour of New York City–a version of the city that has, for better or worse, been lost to time. In this respect, the film almost feels like a documentary or a home movie, following its characters from a derelict tenement on the Lower East Side to the World Trade Center to Coney Island, where Dick stages their climactic confrontation aboard the Cyclone roller coaster. But like many other No Wave films, it’s also a testament to the power of imagination and creativity to overcome the most limited of means. Anyone can make a movie, but perhaps only Dick could make the low rent equivalent of Celine and Julie Go Boating.

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