IMDb > Kill Your Idols (2004)
Kill Your Idols
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Kill Your Idols (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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6.6/10   484 votes »
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Release Date:
27 January 2007 (Japan) See more »
You Are A Target Market.
A documentary on thirty years of alternative NYC rock 'n roll. | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
'...these bands are really f***ed up...' See more (8 total) »


Ron Albertson ... Himself
Angus Andrew ... Himself
Tristan Bechet ... Himself
Hisham Bharoocha ... Himself
Glenn Branca ... Himself
Sebastien Brault ... Himself
Brian Chase ... Himself
Bjorn Copeland ... Himself
Eric Copeland ... Himself
Susan Donaldson ... Herself
Michael Gira ... Himself
Aaron Hemphill ... Himself

Eugene Hutz ... Himself
Oren Kaplan ... Himself
Arto Lindsay ... Himself
Lydia Lunch ... Herself
Matthew McAuley ... Himself (as Matt McAuley)
Brain McPeck ... Himself
Thurston Moore ... Himself
Pat Nature ... Himself

Karen O ... Herself
Chris Pravdica ... Himself

Pamela Racine ... Herself
Lee Ranaldo ... Himself
Martin Rev ... Himself
Sergei Ryabtsev ... Himself (as Sergey Rjabtzev)
Jim Sclavunos ... Himself
J.G. Thirlwell ... Himself (as Jim Thirlwell)
Aaron Warren ... Himself
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Nick Zinner ... Himself

Directed by
Scott Crary  (as S.A. Crary)
Produced by
Dan Braun .... executive producer
Josh Braun .... executive producer
Scott Crary .... producer (as S.A. Crary)
Cinematography by
Scott Crary  (as S.A. Crary)
Film Editing by
Scott Crary  (as S.A. Crary)
Editorial Department
Marta Forns-Escudé .... additional editor (as Marta Forns Escudé)
Beth B .... special thanks (as Beth B.)
Scott B .... special thanks
Michelle Belcher .... special thanks
Bob Bert .... special thanks
D.N.A. .... special thanks
Vincent Gallo .... extra special thanks
David Godlis .... special thanks
Richard Kern .... special thanks
Lydia Lunch .... special thanks
New York Dolls .... special thanks
Paul Sevigny .... special thanks
Suicide .... special thanks
Tom Surgel .... special thanks (as Tom Surgal)
Wharton Tiers .... special thanks
Nick Zedd .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:75 min

Did You Know?

The title of the film is inspired by the Sonic Youth song "Kill Yr Idols".See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Fingered (1988)See more »
World Class FuckSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
'...these bands are really f***ed up...', 14 February 2009
Author: Chuck G. (flaminghat) from United States

'Kill Your Idols' was awesome. There's your summary right there. The No Wave art movement and the bands that it spawned have become very integrated in my musical tastes and my way of thinking, and to be able to see some of the people (a lot of them actually) who were involved and hear about their journey was, for me, a very personal and fulfilling experience. So, I'm going to try and be as objective as possible. It's not going to be easy though...

First off, I was born in '82, when the Swans and Sonic Youth were starting out, so I really don't have a sense of 'nostalgia' as such, since I am experiencing the might of that movement completely second (and maybe even third) hand. Also, I have lived my entire life about as far away from New York as possible, by design rather than by intention (though I can't say I am sad about it): my connection to the movement and the ideas were formed simply by following the history and influences of the bands I knew about, slowly revealing more and more of what the 'scene' was exactly and what had come from it. That said, again, the power of the music and the statements it made has affected me profoundly, so I believe (perhaps wrongly) that I am justified in having an opinion on it and being able to judge 'Kill Your Idols' for what it truly is, that being not a simple music documentary where the point is to say 'oh yeah, I remember when...' and play some concert footage. The point is to look at No Wave as an art movement, how it developed, and how it influences music today. In that, I believe it succeeds near flawlessly.

The editing and style of the film is, in itself, very much in tune with the No Wave attitude. The frequent and quick cuts during interviews give it a very jerky feeling quite reminiscent of the music itself. Essentially it is presented in four parts: the actual No Wave movement (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Contortions, Suicide, DNA, etc.), the early 80s bands inspired by the movement (Swans, Sonic Youth and Foetus), the newer crop of bands (Black Dice, Liars, etc.) and the final part is an analysis, essentially, of how the new bands missed the point. Many people think that to be unnecessary, but I happen to agree with a vast majority of the statements made by the older generation as well as those made by Sergey Rjabtzev of Gogol Bordello, one of the only people of the newer crop who seemed to really grasp the ideas behind No Wave. Not only are they spot on (Lydia Lunch in particular), but it says a lot about modern music in general: how being different sells and how that is taken advantage of, whereas when No Wave was around, it was about not being liked, it was about spitting bile and wanting to mess with minds. I do like, personally, some of the newer bands, but I would not go so far as to say that they really grasped the concepts engendered by the movement and in fact half of them seemed really fake and cheesy (not to mention lame interviewees). Referring to something as harsh and warped as No Wave music as 'pure and innocent' for example...oh yeah, objectivity...ahem...

Well, without telling too much, I think this should be required viewing for anyone who likes Swans, Sonic Youth or bands of their ilk to find out where they came from and learn about a very interesting and influential, if short-lived, period in American music, or for anyone interested in music-as-art in general. It's well made, poignant, often hilarious, and it manages to be much more than a simple trip down Nostalgia Avenue. It also conveys the principles behind the creation of the movement and the brotherhood (and sisterhood) that formed around it very admirably. Punk is dead, but I for one cannot thank Mr. Crary enough for providing a window and allowing us to look back at a time when it was very much alive.

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