A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular ... See full summary »
As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence reaches out around the world, more strongly now than ... See full summary »
Climb in the van, buckle your seat belt and hang on tight because you're about to experience life on the road with the founding fathers of punk rock, The Ramones! The band that started it ... See full summary »
On October 12th 1978 New York Police discovered the lifeless body of a 20 year-old woman, slumped under the bathroom sink in a hotel room. She was dressed in her underwear and had bled to ... See full summary »
Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious, bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. When the Sex Pistols break up after their fateful US tour, ... See full summary »
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 »
A documentary about the punk band The Sex Pistols. The film tries to lighten some of the backgrounds of their way through the punk era while telling the story of the band from zero back to zero. Features lots of interviews and comments of folks who were involved. Written by
The first Julian Temple documentary on the Sex Pistols, 'The Great Rock n'Roll Swindle' was a gimmicky treatment that suggested the creation of the band was all a clever confidence trick perpetuated by Malcolm Maclaren. In his version the Pistols were a personal creation that deliberately manipulated the media and the 'suits' that ran the music industry into paying out vast amounts of cash even when the band failed to produce any material.
This second version of events is a little more honest. Maclaren is shown to be a self-deluded egotist, the real driving force being 'Johnny Rotten', and the band, far from having the upper hand, were in fact ripped off financially by the very people they were supposed to be rebelling against.
It all ended in a shambolic final concert where Rotten wails out 'No Fun' for 15 minutes and then walks off with a smirking, 'Ever felt you've been cheated?'
Trouble is; this is a lie as well. The Pistols carried on after Lydon left; sad fun and games with the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs and Sid Vicious' infamous rendering of 'My Way' being the 'highlights'. What's more, within months of Johnny Rotten's noble statement about not selling out at the end of the documentary, the Pistols reformed in the 21st century and gave progressively pathetic concerts.
It's still an interesting documentary but I guess the myth has now become so mixed up with the legend that anything approaching the truth is lost for ever.
This documentary does feature, however, an archive interview with Sid Vicious whose real name was John, Lydon affectionately remembers - which I have never seen before. It says more about the times than anything else in the film. Although dressed in his trade mark Nazi t-shirt and initially punctuated with all the predictable anarchic attitudes, this veneer gradually slips away to reveal a young naïve man, who's life along with his heroin addiction was spiraling out of control.
No fun, indeed.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?