Dark Days

(DVD - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Dark Days
For years, a homeless community took root in a train tunnel beneath New York City, braving dangerous conditions and perpetual night. Dark Days explores the surprisingly domestic subterranean world, unearthing a way of life unimaginable to those above. Through stories simultaneously heartbreaking, hilarious, intimate, and off the cuff, tunnel dwellers reveal their reasons for taking refuge and their struggle to survive underground.
Publisher: [United States] : Oscilloscope Pictures, c2011
Branch Call Number: DVD 305.569 DAR
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (84 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Jun 08, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"If you don't consider yourself homeless here, then you ain't ready to cope with this then, if you don't consider you homeless." --Henry to Tommy

Jun 08, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"When you get ready to stop something you gonna stop it on your own...By you keep saying to me stop smoking crack, it only makes me want to go out and smoke more." --Dee to Ralph

Jun 08, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"Anybody can walk by while you're sleeping on a bench and bust you in the head. At least down in the tunnel you ain't got to worry about that, because nobody in their right mind is gonna come down there...they gonna be too scared." --Greg

Jun 08, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"Usually Fridays if I work all day I'll make seventy dollars, sixty or seventy bucks. Have enough to play around a little bit, you know what I'm sayin'?... It gets me through the weekend. I usually take Saturday and Sunday off to chill ya know? I've always done that." --Tommy

Jun 08, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"I stopped crack already for a long time, for more than three years. And sometimes I still wake up with the urge to smoke it, but I fight it." --Ralph


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Please, VPL, replace this DVD in the catalogue. Or if you're reading this and you are the one who "borrowed" it from the library and "forgot" to bring it back, PLEASE RETURN IT!

I want to see it!

Oct 21, 2011
  • aaa5756 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

B+ dvd

Jun 20, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Filmed entirely in black and white, this documentary is a sensitive and artful peek into the lives of some of New York City’s indigent population. Stark lighting and a no frills production lend the movie credibility and immediacy. Director Marc Singer arrived in New York from England and was shocked at the city’s homeless population and the lengths at which they went to survive. He befriended the residents of the tunnel and moved down to live with them as a lifestyle choice. One day someone said they should make a film about the underground community so using donated, borrowed and consigned equipment, Singer and the inhabitants began production. Well edited fragments filmed over several years are tied together to present a compelling document of these individuals and their unique situation. Sometimes maudlin, the story of Tommy, Dee, Ralph and the others is told directly and framed in the real environment of their squatters burrow. The special features are complete documents unto themselves. The “Making of” feature is almost a how-to for independent film production. A text only follow up is sure to delight and dismay viewers with the further outcomes of people whose intimate details were shared in the film. The music by DJ Shadow is an effective, consistent and infectious thread that runs through the documentary and lingers with you long after viewing.

Watch the trailer at the official website: http://www.palmpictures.com/film/dark-days.php


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Jun 08, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Dark Days follows the story of a group of people living in underground tunnels in New York. The underground Amtrack rails split off in two directions near Penn station. One set of rails were abandoned and taken out of use, it is in that tunnel that some of the city’s homeless began to migrate and built shelters to live. The film is presented as a series of interviews, conversations and moments from the lives of the denizens of the tunnel. A young man, Tommy, hits the street collecting recycling on a regular basis and earns money to live on and feed his many dogs. Ralph is an ex crack head who lost everything and is trying to get his life back together and possibly use the shelter of the tunnel as a springboard back into society. Greg goes through trash and finds reusable items like Cds and appliances to make a living. Julio is an affable eccentric who has a makeshift security system for his dwelling that approaches a Goldberg device. Dee is the only woman featured in great detail. She tells her tales of woe while still in the throes of her addictions which landed her in the current predicament. Ronnie has maintained a swagger and repartee that belie his domestic situation and the fact that his sweet ride is a shopping cart filled with discarded items from up above. First time director Marc Singer follows the day to day efforts of these people to survive and provide companionship and often amusement for each other. Toward the end of the film, Amtrack officials arrive and serve the inhabitants eviction notices to vacate in 30 days. Working with the Homeless Coalition, Amtrack and others, the tunnel folk start new lives and can be seen relishing mundane experiences like cooking in a kitchen and making a bed. Follow ups are presented at the end of the film.


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