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Punk's Not Dead
Punk's Not Dead
Actors: Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, John Doe, Billie Joe Armstrong, Charlie Harper
Director: Susan Dynner
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2008

Punk's Not Dead is more than just a tribute documentary. It takes you on an era-by-era journey that puts punk rock's non-conformist reputation under the knife. Officially sanctioned by the bands in the film who donated p...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, John Doe, Billie Joe Armstrong, Charlie Harper
Director: Susan Dynner
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Other Music
Studio: Mvd Visual
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 07/08/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Punk Rock's Thirty Years and Going Strong.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 08/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Punk's Not Dead" gets its point across through interviews with upwards of 100 members of punk bands past and present and lots of footage of punk then and now. The film has three vaguely delineated parts: The first is a whirlwind history of punk from its do-it-yourself birth in the 1970s, through a lull in the 1980s, and moving into the mainstream in the 1990s. The second part focuses on the bands that have been around since the 1970s or early 1980s and are still going strong. The last part of the film is about young punk and punk-influenced bands, including much debate about whether pop-punk is punk and some reassuring evidence that underground punk is still very much alive.

Director Susan Dynner focuses on punk bands and culture in the US and UK, though we get a smattering of international punk at the end of the film. More than 160 people were interviewed for this film, most of whom were or are musicians, but there are some interviews with music critics, producers, tour organizers, and punk historian Alan Parker as well. The first part of the film doesn't say enough about why punk developed or what makes it punk for my taste. There are also no dates until we get to the late 1980s, which is a little bewildering. I have the impression that the film is aimed at punk fans who would already know these things and prefers to focus on the issues of punk's longevity and the fallout of its being co-opted by the mainstream in the past 15 years.

But "Punk's Not Dead" convinced me. Punk is still very much alive and thriving, both in mainstream derivatives and a punk underground that is as gritty and low-budget as ever. It's amazing to see punkers who are still doing it after 3 decades next to the new bands, and those who despise punk's commerciality next to those who embrace it. And -I have to say- these middle-aged guys who are still belting it out on stage are more convincing than the sexagenarian Rolling Stones. Of course, they are 10 years younger. But they still have the spirit behind the music, which is more than I can say for the Stones. "Punk's Not Dead" is a fun tour of the continuity of 30 years of punk rock, what has changed and what has remained the same. As one punk stalwart says, "Punk rock should be appalling!"

The DVD (MVD 2008): There are 18 bonus features on this disc, and I confess to not having watched them all. The features offer a smorgasbord of varying quality. Some are segments left out of the film because they are tangential. "Punk Rock Housing" and "Hair", for example, are about some unique aspects of the punk lifestyle. There is a trailer, some outtakes, and miscellaneous short interviews. A feature called "CBGB/The Roxy/The Masque" (29 min) interviews the founders of these 3 punk clubs in New York, London, and Los Angeles about how the clubs came into being, what they were like and what happened to them. It's very worthwhile if you're interested in history."