Sunday, January 20, 2008

Film Review: The Decline of Western Civilization

Title: The Decline of Western Civilization

Year: 1981

Genre: Documentary

Plot Outline: The film focuses on the burgeoning Los Angeles Punk scene in 1979 and 1980 and how it would slowly evolve into the hardcore scene that took the nation by storm. 'Decline' portrays the ups and downs of the Punk Rock world. The grittiness, the pogoing, the slam dancing (now more well known as moshing), the raw intensity of the music and lyrics, and of course the artists themselves. There are seven bands included in the film, most of which are some of my absolute favorites. But enough of me, here are the bands: Black Flag ( pre- Henry Rollins), The Germs, X, Circle Jerks, Fear, Catholic Discipline, and The Alice Bag Band. All, but the last two have maintained a relatively exceptional legacy and prominent place in music history.

Why you should see this film?: First and foremost to view legendary artists and true Punk Rock at its finest; none of that wimpy, phony, built for a buck Fall out Boy shit. But, if you are already a fan of these iconic figures, then all the more reason to check out this Doc. You will see amazing, hilarious, and ferocious footage of your favorite bands.

Where can I find this film?: I'm not going to lie to you this a rare ( but classic) gem. It is currently out of print, but don't worry you can download it off of Ares and possibly Lime Wire, and I would try any other program you have, if you don't already have the latter. Fortunately Penelope Spheeris (director) has discussed re- releasing the flick, so maybe you'll see it in stores in the near future. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

My Rating: A , a fabulous, archetype documentation of the underground, Los Angeles scene of the late 70s and early 80s. Truly one of my all time favorite flicks! Note: the year is 1981. This is not just another Punk Rock doc. made by people who were never there. This is a live account of the thriving Punk scene during its momentum. The footage you see in the film is there strictly for the film, it's not just some random concert video they chocked out from stock footage. P.S. the interviews are screamers!

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