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1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992)

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David Markey's documentary of life on the road with Sonic Youth and Nirvana during their tour of Europe in late 1991. Also featuring live performances by Dinosaur Jr, Babes In Toyland, The ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sonic Youth ...
Herself - Sonic Youth
Lee Ranaldo ...
Himself - Sonic Youth
Steve Shelley ...
Himself - Sonic Youth
Thurston Moore ...
Himself - Sonic Youth
Himself - Nirvana
Himself - Nirvana (as Dave Grohl)
Himself - Nirvana (as Chris Novoselic)
Dinosaur Jr. ...
Mike Johnson ...
Himself - Dinosaur Jr.
Himself - Dinosaur Jr.
Murph ...
Himself - Dinosaur Jr.
Babes In Toyland ...
Lori Barbero ...
Herself - Babes in Toyland


David Markey's documentary of life on the road with Sonic Youth and Nirvana during their tour of Europe in late 1991. Also featuring live performances by Dinosaur Jr, Babes In Toyland, The Ramones and Gumball. Written by Alexander Lum <>

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Release Date:

20 November 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tooth or Hair  »

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'Ice! I love my Ice! We dont have Ice in Holland!"
10 January 2000 | by (Keiglhey, the bleakest part of north England) – See all my reviews

The 'grunge' explosion of the early and mid nineties was quite possibly the single most contrived piece of marketing in the history of western civilisation, neatly packaging raw emotion and powerful self expression, diluting it into managable and meanigless chunks, and then reselling it to emotionally challanged teenagers. All the bad stuff that came with that social mini revolution often makes us forget all the fun we used to have before 1991 and Nevermind. But this documentary provides ample reminder of that time. Fusing blistering live performances from some of THE great underground bands of the 1980's - 1990's (stand up Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jnr, Gumball and Babes in Toyland), with tiny snippets of backstage larks that truly portray the excitment of the period. What is truly exceptional about this piece is its subtlety in the presentation of the major issues of the time, namely the issue of old school punk ethics versus the attitudes of the increasingly main stream fans the bands were attracting. A good example of this is the way Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth dispenses a mocking impersenation of a grumpy Irish scooter 'fan' ("I'm planning to put the front cover of 'Goo' on me scooter" Oh PLEASE!). The actual moment itself was so brief you could easily miss it, but it brilliantly sums up the attitudes of all the bands to this new audience they were attracting, and with whom they shared no common ideas or beliefs. Ao=nother joy of this film is that you get to see a pre-fame Nirvana, Shock Horror!, having FUN. Since his suicide the media has tended to paint Kurt Cobain as a tragic figure, consumed by inner - demons and constantly living under a black cloud. Yet here Kevin Kerslake shows a lighter, more human, side to this near mythological individual and also offers us what l feel to be one of the most powerful images of the century. After falling of stage and into the crowed, Kurt is pulled back onto the stage by Thurston, both with big smiles on their faces, having fun, and totally unaware of the tragedy that we, with the benfit of hindsight, know will soon befall them. Kerslake further emphasizes this moment by freezing it for just enough time to allow the full meaning of the image to sink in. A truly exceptional representation of the unifying spirit of the old, and sadly long gone, underground network.

OR maybe they were just all having a laff. You know, a bunch of really cool bands with alot to say and a big noise to make who just wanted to get out their and make some eardrums bleed. Oh well, its only rock and roll but l like it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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