Very intriguing portrait of the LA Punk scene: Spheeris' style is full of surprises, and I especially liked the way she cut the documentary or interview passages with performance sequences. It gives the film a certain, somewhat unpredectable rhythm.
Punk: disaffection or exultation? Errr, yes. Great to come back to Spheeris's doc. I am no longer a young man yearning his way in the direction of this particular branded past. I see myself now as a more removed witness to the cavalcade(s) of history. But still think X were a band of geniuses who have a lot to show us even now about how to wax human. Chris D. show up briefly. So where the fuck are The Flesh Eaters?
"Beware of crossing your arms over your chest in the sterile pose of a spectator, because life is not a spectacle, a sea of pain is not a proscenium, and a screaming man is not a dancing bear." - Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1939.
As an East Coast punk, watching this when it came out was like a video letter from the friend in the LA scene I didn't have. LA had a reputation for being tough and chaotic, and the film certainly captures that. It also shows how diverse the bands were. Some people in this movie come across as just as ignorant as folks in the second one - I'm sure which community you belong to will shape how you respond to them.
An observational approach at life in a punk band during the 1980s. I like how we, the audience, are given a slice of life of each of a few bands and get to see them doing their thing raw and unaltered. Very interesting and appealing to see this counter-culture come to life in such a real way...
Glad I got to see this film, and glad I wasn't at the live performances. It's awesome that Spheeris let the cameras roll without a lot of quick cuts; a technique coming up just around the corner from this movie with MTV. It's scary and dirty, but the energy is magnificent.