'Punk' Strips Music To Its Angry Roots BYLINE: EDWARD GUTHMANN, Chronicle Staff Critic 4 Star Rating PUNK: Documentary. With Johnny Rotten, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Patti Smith, ... See full synopsis »

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'Punk' Strips Music To Its Angry Roots

BYLINE: EDWARD GUTHMANN, Chronicle Staff Critic

4 Star Rating

PUNK: Documentary. With Johnny Rotten, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Chrissie Hynde, Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone. Directed, Written and Produced by Ted Haimes. (Not rated. 68 minutes. At the Red Vic Movie House through June 18.)

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If you thought you'd heard the last word on punk, or believed -- as I did -- that Penelope Spheeris' 1981 film ''The Decline of Western Civilization'' was the definitive punk documentary, you were wrong.

Say hello to ''Punk'' , a smart, bracing, thoroughly enjoyable film that recalls the punk movement in England and the United States, pinpoints its roots and legacy, and interviews all the players who defined the genre.

Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols is on board, along with Joe Strummer of the Clash, Elvis Costello (who says he never identified with...

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1 May 1995 (USA)  »

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it feels all alone
16 April 2007 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

The ninth installment ("Punk") of the ten hour musical journey, "The History of Rock & Roll" has all of the earmarks of Punk 101, which is important for the series format. It follows the rise of punk, as it comes from the likes of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and eventually from The Sex Pistols in the British scene. It delves into the more socially conscious music of Joe Strummer's The Clash, as well as the (as mentioned) Beach Boys-esquire leather-clad Ramones. Unfortunately the format of combining archival footage with artist interviews is the only real connection devise this entry has to the series as a whole. Given someone unfamiliar with rock's history were to stumble upon this series, the "Punk" episode sticks out like a sore thumb and winds up feeling out of place in a series about rock. Add to that an undereducated instant connection between 70's punk and Nirvana, while skipping most of the 80's scene. Sure it's a bit under-developed and dirty, like a punk song, but this is nonetheless a disappointing exploration of the genre.


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