1977, the 25th Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign: England is burning, in the midst of ruins, bonfires, rundown slums, plastic, churches transformed into discos, the rash supremacy of showbiz. Elizabeth I notices; she has been transported by an angel to modern London, where she encounters a wild female punk band. Jarman’s second feature film, Britain’s first punk film (and still one of the best) is a cry of furious disillusionment and nihilism.
The high school teachers are on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Instead of focusing on their studies, the students are dedicating themselves to the cult of rock music. One of them dreams of meeting the Ramones at a concert and, when the principal throws her tickets into the trash, the revolt begins. A punk variation on the school movie, directed by Allan Arkush, based on an idea by Joe Dante and produced by Roger Corman, a screwball paean to the rebellious and incendiary power of music.
Fog, darkness, self-destructive impulses, music, anarchy, heroin: this is the world of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, who met in 1977 in London, where the American girl was lured by punk music, of which Sid, the bass guitarist for the Sex Pistols, is a prophet. Their love story, excessive-romantic-dark, recounted through the music and the spirit of the time by an author who loves punk. With star turns by Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, and music by Joe Strummer and The Pogues.
A teenage girl runs away from home, gets a ride from a woman and finds refuge in an LA suburb of abandoned row houses near Interstate 605, where other runaway punk kids live and call themselves "The Rejected." Compassionate, clear-eyed, sometimes shocking (the pre-credits sequence and the finale), one of the best dramas about young people of the era. Spheeris cast non-professional actors and punk musicians in the film.
The mid-1970s, the birth of punk and New Wave music at CBGB, a small club in New York’s Bowery neighborhood. Onstage, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Blondie, the Ramones, Talking Heads, The Heartbreakers and many others. All film clips, some zooms and others close-ups, all out of synch: a deliberate aesthetic choice by directors Amos Poe and Ivan Kral (Patti Smith’s guitarist back then), who filmed with a silent Super8 and edited the footage with separate sound recordings. An unrepeatable document.
Shot between 1979 and 1980, a documentary about Los Angeles’ punk subculture, which at the time was ignored by the media. Clips of concerts by the Gems, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, X, Alice Bag Band and Catholic Discipline, and interviews with the musicians and their audiences, bring back the anarchic and desperate energy of a generation. In 1981, the head of the LA police asked that the movie not be screened in town. The first installment of a trilogy the director made about LA’s music scene.
The screenwriter of Alien and Total Recall (among others) debuts behind the movie camera with a film-lover’s tribute to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead but he revolutionizes the tone and reflections: it is completely updated to the 1980s in a punk orgy of gore and irreverent humor. The purism of horror movies is defeated: this cemetery buries both good taste and respect for the rules. A cult.