Meat Rack (2020)

The NYC Downlow is Block9’s legendary queer nightclub. First appearing at Glastonbury Festival in 2007 as a film-set replica of a dilapidated 1970s Lower East Side tenement with an X-rated gay nightclub inside, the space has since evolved into a seedy warehouse at the heart of the Meatpacking District circa 1982. The warehouse serves as the location for Meat Rack, a short film documenting the Downlow's 10th birthday celebration in 2017. In an attempt to construct an immersive reality (like the venue itself) Meat Rack was filmed on a Betacam SP camcorder with VHS-C inserts. Both formats were manufactured and available to the public in 1982.

Meat Rack takes viewers from Somerset to New York City over the course of 16 minutes. From construction site to dance floor, build crew to muscle boys, the film is a personal tribute to a cultural phenomenon. An intimate, unsettling portrait that attempts to capture the fleeting nature of one of Glastonbury’s most notorious nightspots.

Two major influences on the film were Wakefield Poole's Bijou and Philip Trevelyan's The Moon and The Sledgehammer. Special thanks to Andrew Kötting for his advice and guidance throughout. Cinematography by Saul Pankhurst. Second Camera by Liam Healy. Sound Recording by Emma Barnaby. Graphics by Dennis McInnes. Meat Rack featured (in order of appearance); Jacob Love, Dieter Zachmeister, Richard Godderidge, Dan Thompson, David McFarlane, Olly Lajevardi, Chris Thompson, Haydn Nuttall, Alex Hale, Justin McCarthy, Josh Doyle, Dave Rushton, Giorgio Spiegelfeld, Craig Worrall, Jordi Hulsof, Thanasis Petroyiannis, Camille Leon, James Andrew Telford, Chester Hayes, Lottie Croucher, Joseph Wilson, Felippe Johann, Rudi Douglas, Ashraf Ejjbair, AJ Pittman, Paul Willis, Maggie Balmaceda, Rhys, Yoko Fomo, Ginger Johnson, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, Lucy Fizz, Joey Demento, and Rodent Decay.

Meat Rack was first exhibited online via Block9 from 23rd → 30th June 2020. It was selected as part of The Observer's Guide to Summer Culture and covered widely in other publications such as Crack, Resident Advisor, Mixmag, DJMag, Ransom Note, Hypebeast and Attack Magazine.

Directed by Harry Lawson
In collaboration with Gideon Berger, Stephen Gallagher
Cinematography Saul Pankhurst
Camera Saul Pankhurst, Liam Healy
Sound Recording Emma Barnaby
Sound Design Harry Lawson
Edited by Harry Lawson
Special thanks Andrew Kötting
Titles Dennis McInnes
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