Filmmaker Ilya Chaiken Blacks Out


We’re big fans of director Ilya Chaiken’s unbelievably compelling low-budget street epic Liberty Kid, which finally hits DVD this week from Kino Video. (We featured another short by Chaiken on the Picture Palace early this summer.) Shot on a dime for the Blackout Film Festival (read all about it here), Blackout is a funny, genuinely unsettling look at an unfortunate hookup in the midst of the big power outage of 2003. But in the same way that Liberty Kid reaches back to the recent past and captures the emotional vortex of post-9/11 New York, this short captures the bizarre electricity (ahem) in the air during a brief, similarly uncertain time.