Monday, 28 December 2009


My favourite genre of music film is the Punkumentary. It lends itself very well to Cinéma Vérité. In the strangest possible way.

Three very good Punkumentary films.

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle featuring The Sex Pistols directed by Julien Temple who also directed the extremely funny Comic Strip Presents Mockumentary.

It is a classic of anarchistic filmmaking, taking ideas such as animation, used by The Beatles and making it crude. For me this film uses the Poetic mode of documentary filmmaking as it re-interprets itself through-out its narrative, in such ways as Malcolm McLaren playing 'The Voice of God' through-out the film (How apt) but whispering in such a way only Beelzebub would if he/she were to narrate a story. Also the angry mob protesting about The Sex Pistols in 17th Century Britain whereas the reality of the real protests in the documentary were Carol singing Welsh who protested peacefully attempting to drown out The Sex Pistols music with their own.

Rock 'n' Roll High School featuring The Ramones.

The Roger Corman classic 'College Flick' with a Punk Rock band. Corman who directed The Little Shop of Horrors. This film is somewhat different from the others as it tends to use the classic Rock Film narrative, that is having a real band enter a fictional story and play themselves, whereas with The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and Rude Boy, the band members are sort of playing different characters as themselves.

Rude Boy featuring The Clash.

Despite The Clash apparently not liking the film, I felt it is one of the best examples of spontaneous filmmaking. I agree with the director that to film a band on the road and weave a story around them is a challenging and difficult task. Ray Grange and The Clash, and everyone else in the film are excellent. Downplayed and effectively backed away from the camera and its lens. The camera tends to magnify natural environments and so as soon as the environment backs away from it, the perspective you get is just right.

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