Dark Days

( 4 )

Overview

Marc Singer's powerful documentary about the New York City homeless who take shelter in the subway systems, Dark Days, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. There are neither subtitles nor closed captions on this release. Supplemental materials include a documentary about the making of the film containing interviews with the director, 15 minutes of never-before-seen footage with ...
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Overview

Marc Singer's powerful documentary about the New York City homeless who take shelter in the subway systems, Dark Days, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. There are neither subtitles nor closed captions on this release. Supplemental materials include a documentary about the making of the film containing interviews with the director, 15 minutes of never-before-seen footage with commentary by Singer, biographies of the crew, the theatrical trailer, a follow-up by Singer, who checks on what happened to some of his subjects, and a history of the New York City subway tunnels. This is a superb disc from Palm that enhances the viewing of the film and may help the film find the audience that did not seek it out in theaters.
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Special Features

The Making of Dark Days - 45 minute documentary, includes interviews with director Marc Singer, DJ Shadow, Ben Freedman and more; Commentary by Marc Singer; Never-before-seen footage - 15 additional scenes with notes by Marc Singer; The history of the NYC subway tunnels; "Life after the Tunnel" - Follow up by Marc Singer; Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound; Digitally mastered / 16:9 widescreen version; Crew biographies; Scene access; Theatrical trailer and more
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Recalling the films of Robert Frank, Dark Days is a compassionate and haunting portrait of a subterranean community of the homeless. The two years director Marc Singer spent living in the catacombs of New York's train tunnels dumpster-diving for food clearly paid off: Singer's documentary boasts a surprising intimacy between his homeless subjects and the camera -- on numerous occasions they banter as freely with Singer as they do with each other. The director manages to draw out some exchanges that are both funny --as when Lee gives a rambling but impassioned speech about his decreased pets -- and horrific -- as when Ralph recalls his child's rape and dismemberment. The past for many of the tunnel people is a constant source of torment, be it Dee's loss of her children to a house fire or the disintegration of Ralph's marriage due to crack. In spite of the bad air, perpetual darkness, and rats, most subterranean dwellers argue that life in the tunnel is infinitely preferable to the streets, where they are prey to crime and the elements. Beneath Manhattan, they have constructed shanties out of lumber and cardboard and furnished them with TVs, powered straight off the city's grid. Their daily life makes up a large part of the film's structure: we see how they eat, shower, and kill time. One character points out the best dumpster in which to find good food, arguing that the grub is not only clean, but kosher too, while another has managed to construct a shower of sorts from a leaking water main. Thanks to Singer's stark black and white cinematography, Dark Days has the claustrophobic quality of the bottom of the ocean, which adds to its taunt intensity. Although its ending is oddly mushy and seemingly inconsistent with the rest of the work, Dark Days is a powerful document of humanity's will to survive and a first-rate piece of urban ethnography.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2001
  • UPC: 660200303624
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marc Singer Interviewee
Technical Credits
Marc Singer Director, Cinematographer, Producer
DJ Shadow Score Composer
Ben Freedman Co-producer
Peter Levin Sound Editor
Melissa Neidich Editor
Barbara Parks Sound Editor
Paolo Seganti Executive Producer
Morton Swinsky Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Penn Station
2. Introduction & Titles
3. Tommy
4. Ralph's House
5. Greg Hustling
6. Ralph's Crack Sign
7. Julio's Security System
8. Tommy Walking Down the Tunnel
9. Greg's Dumpster
10. Tommy Comes Home
11. Country Corn Bread
12. Julio & Lee's Pets
13. Dee's Fire
14. Ronnie & Clarence Cooking
15. Brian Comes Home
16. Ralph and Dee Drug Argument
17. Dee's Couch
18. Greg Finding Food
19. Dee's Kids
20. Julio and the Police
21. Rich Rubell
22. The Coalition for the Homeless
23. Tommy and Brian Packing Up
24. Breaking Down the Houses
25. Tommy's Living Room
26. Dee's Bed
27. End Credits
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Film
   Disc Setup
      2.0 Dolby Surround
      5.1 Dolby Digital
      Director's Commentary By Marc Singer
   Special Features
      The Tunnel
      The Making of Dark Days
      Additional Scenes
         Ralph's Cousin
            Play Scene
         Tommy and Shim
            Play Scene
         Ralph's Toilet
            Play Scene
         Clarence and Great Ratshit
         Henry's Hands
            Play Scene
         Ralph's Hair Cut
            Play Scene
         Julio and Lee's Rat
            Play Scene
         Tommy and Henry Painting
         Clarence and Greg Interview
         Ronnie and His Carts
         Tommy and Welfare
         Ronnie: Clever, Coo, and Calm
            Play Scene
         Brian: Two Sides
         Clarence and Danny
            Play Scene
         Jose Moving Out
            Play Scene
      Life After the Tunnel
         Ralph
         Tito
         Tommy
         Greg
         Dee
         Brian
         Julio
         Henry
         Ronnie
         Clarence
         Lee
         Jose
      Biographies
         Marc Singer
         Ben Freedman
         Melissa Neidich
         DJ Shadow
         Joey Hillyer
      Theatrical Trailer
      Weblinks
   Scene Access
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Documentary

    If you enjoyed this movie and found your interest peaked, try reading "The Mole People" by Jennifer Toth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie

    After a recommendation from a friend I picked this up. I was unprepared for the humanity that showed through the ''darkness''. The characters were surprisingly well-developed. This movie is for someone who believes that most people are basically good, some with bad circumsatances, who need a hand up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    in-depth and soul searching

    Marc and his crew did a fantastic job. They captured the nitty gritty of the time and personalities of the homeless pictured.I loved the lighting and the way they didn't try to sugar coat their lives.Great film-making.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews