Amos Poe

Empire II, 2012

14.09.2012 19:00-22:00

Come and see the first ever public presentation of EMPIRE II in Europe following its projection on the pyramids of Gizeh.


Over the course of one year, Amos Poe, master of the No Wave Cinema movement, filmed the Empire State Building through the window of his apartment, paring this sensory experience down to a three-hour collage with illustrious music, occasional camera pans, and a rich palette of colours. The result is "Empire II", a brilliant poem of sound featuring the music of Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, Lucinda Williams, Jeff Buckley, Jimmie James, Steve Earl, Cassis Staudt, Max Nova, Gram Rabbit, Peggy Lee, Allison Moorer, Hysterics, Debbie Harry, B. B. King, Pink Martini and many others.


The central themes of the film are time, urbanity, privacy and the public sphere, melody and language in different threads of development. The time lapse photography conveys a sense of incredible speed and evanescence and, at the same time, due to the almost static camera angle, a sense of constancy, objectively visualising the unchanging cycle of times of day, months and seasons. The city that never sleeps, urbanity and thus the man-made fluctuation of passages of time are characteristics that have long since ceased to apply to New York alone, characteristics that reflect trends to be observed in many different social systems.


Based on Poe’s subjective view, the eye of the camera is directed at and thus interlaced with public life. The concise, subtle soundtrack is accompanied by the twinkling lights, the changing seasons, and their typical flora and weather. As well as focusing on the topicality of perennial questions of societal, economic, social and climate structures, the film also whisks passers-by and spectators away on a poetic journey.


In a lecture preceding the film, we can follow this outstanding director to the depths of his work.


Elisabeth Fiedler



Amos Poe


Amos Poe, born in 1950, is often referred to as the "father" of modern American independent cinema. He is a prominent exponent of the No Wave Cinema movement (1975–1985), that grew up out of the dynamic music and art scene of New York’s East Village alongside punk music.


Film-makers associated with the movement include Jim Jarmusch, Abel Ferrara, Eric Mitchell, Richard Kern and many others. Driven by a DIY ethic, they conquered the B movie genre, evolving into an avantgarde and creating new, vibrant American art films, inspired, among other things, by French New Wave cinema.


Among Amos Poe’s films is the classic "The Blank Generation" from 1975. The first ever punk film, it accompanies the trailblazing performances of Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Blondie, the Ramones and the Talking Heads, among others. The film was followed by "The Foreigner" (featuring Eric Mitchell, Patti Astor, Hannah Duncan and Debbie Harry) and "Subway Riders". In 1976, Poe wrote and produced the pioneering film "Unmade Beds", a laconic No Wave homage to Godard’s "Breathless".


AMOS POE teaches at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts (screen writing, directing and production) and at the NYU Florence Summer Program.






„No Wave" – and more

14.09.2012, 5 pm

Kunsthaus Graz, Space 04, Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz



Filmscreening on Mariahilferplatz

„Empire II", 2007, 180 min. colour, sound

14.09.2012, 7 pm

Admission free


Art in Public Space

Marienplatz 1/1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9265



Mariahilferplatz 3

8020 Graz


Space 04 Kunsthaus

Lendkai 1

8020 Graz