This documentary about Glenn O'Brien
's iconoclastic public-access cable television show, which became a showcase for music, art, and political commentary from the downtown new wave scene of the late '70s and early '80s, gets a simple but well-executed presentation on DVD. TV Party: The Documentary
was shot on video and has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The new footage is sharp and well-photographed, while the surviving clips from the TV Party
show look surprisingly good for public-access footage that's well over 20 years old, though the archive tapes show a certain amount of damage (usually oxide shedding) and the image quality is quite variable. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, and the poor sound quality of the original shows becomes more of a problem than the images, though the new material sounds fine and the mastering of the material can hardly be blamed. The interviews and archive footage are in English, with no subtitles or multiple language options. The only bonus material included on this release is a four-minute slide show of pictures taken on the set of the show and a trailer for the documentary; while the film is uneven, it does offer a time-capsule look at a variety of New York bohemian culture that's all but vanished, and the disc makes the material look as good as anyone would have a right to expect.