The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Not Rated   |    |  Documentary, History, Music


The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) Poster

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.


7.6/10
3,094

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Director:

Penelope Spheeris

Awards

1 win.

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25 January 1999 | Mr Pants
10
| Whatever happened to the little French guy?
Kind of a guilty indulgence nowadays, this used to be required watching when i was in high school. It really is a great illumination of the burgeoning punk scene in LA in 1980. As the bands play, Spheeris prints the lyrics in subtitles, which is of course necessary if one really wants to know what the guy is screaming into the microphone. But also it turns the camera's POV into that of tourist, passing through this alien world. The band interviews reveal an honest approach to the music that really doesn't exist anymore. Then again, it's not as easy to come by $16/month former-church closets like Chavez of Black Flag does. How many unheard of bands do you know that aren't trying like the dickens to get a record deal? These guys just didn't care. And who can't love the commentary of the little French dude who used to be the "singer" for Catholic Discipline (of which Phranc was a member). His gritty voice delivers one of the best soliloquies ever captured on film: "I have excellent news for the world ... there's no such thing as New Wave." Whew! What a relief!

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Genres

Documentary | History | Music

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