The Decline of Western Civilization: Part I
Penelope Spheeris / US / 1981 / 100'
A unique inside view of the early eighties Los Angeles hardcore punk scene.
In a less political way than the Brits and a less intellectual manner than the New York punk predecessors, this LA variation wallows in aggression and violent nihilism. The raw footage of the concerts of seven different bands (one more memorable than the other) is interspersed with interviews of band members, managers and pogo-ing fans. The upshot is an unvarnished and non-moralising portrait of an often intolerant, racist and homophobic subculture, steeped in extreme despair. The live performances of X, Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, the Germs and Fear are still reverberating more than 30 years later.
© Spheeris Films / Shout! Factory