Skip to main content

BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE: THE STORY OF CBGB

USA, 2009 (MIFF 2009, Backbeat)

Director: Mandy Stein

“Everything was dead. There were no clubs, there was nothing. But there was CBGB's.” - Tommy Ramone

Filmmaker Mandy Stein virtually grew up in New York's CBGB, the notorious venue that became the epicentre of a whole generation of 70s NYC punk bands, including Television, The Ramones, Blondie, The Patti Smith Group and Talking Heads.

Stein lovingly profiles the legendary home of punk, highlighting its historical important while tracing its more recent history, following owner Hilly Kristal's battle against the Bowery homeless shelter's attempt to shut the venue down.

Features a plethora of retro performances by bands in the venue's heyday, and anecdotes from many of those whose lives once revolved around the weekly CBGB gigs, including Legs McNeil, Jim Jarmusch, Tommy Ramone and Patti Smith.

D/P Mandy Stein WS Cactus Three TD HDCAM/2009

See also...

THE FAMILY JAMS

Three bands, a van and a harp - a rambling tour through the inception of ‘freak folk'. ... In the summer of 2004, folk-rockers Vetiver joined Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom on a ragtag tour ... More »

WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS

“This movie is the story of the band, but it is also an insight into a moment in time that will never be repeated.” - producer Dick Wolf ... Blessed with unseen footage by the surviving members ... More »

PUNK SINGER, The

"Both a captivating personal story and a history of a moment - as the best rock documentaries are." - Flavorwire ... As a founder of the riot grrrl movement in the 1990s, singer Kathleen Hanna was a ... More »

STRANGE POWERS: STEPHIN MERRITT AND THE MAGNETIC FIELDS

“The more time I spent with the music, the more I got to thinking this is really one of America's great songwriters at work.” - Peter Gabriel ... Best known as the frontman to the Magnetic ... More »

SWEET LADY WITH THE NASTY VOICE, THE

“You can hear lots of rocking girl singers who owe an unconscious debt to a woman like Wanda [Jackson]. She was standing up on stage with a guitar in her hand while other gals were still asking ... More »

IT MIGHT GET LOUD

“A three-headed, amped-up, guitar-shredding slamdown powered by a pan-generational trio of rock gods.” - Variety ... Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) fires up the Marshall stack ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director