A shocking portrait of one of the most notorious rock groups of all time. A compelling and insightful look into the world of The Sex Pistols, this film charts their rise from the back streets of ’70s London and ultimate implosion while on tour in America.
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Sure, it's the world according to the Sex Pistols: a heroization of the band's history; but if you accept this details, you have to admit that Julian Temple made a great documentary. The montage of the original footage, the commentaries between word and video, the insertion of material like commercials, news reports, animated sequences and Shakespeare excerpts is entertaining as well as funny and very (self)ironic.
This movie is designed to act as counter to The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, letting the band members tell their sides of the story. It also attempts to place the band in a wider sociopolitical and sociocultural context, and I think it does a good job of that. It does drag a bit when Rotten/Lydon continues to overtly spend energy on manufacturing his public image (ha ha), but the other band members are engaging.
With blood, sweat, and spit Sex Pistols changed not only music culture, but planted its boot firmly in the face of English society, generating enough manic, rabid energy to create major cultural transformation in the disillusioned youth of the U.K. The unique format and editing give it a real punk feel and the music, of course, is great. All this on top of a fascinating story about the most banned band in England.
I think this is a very good and effective documentary that really sets The Sex Pistols within their social context. I really like how each was able to give his own opinion, even Sid Vicious from a previous interview, and this allowed for a fair recount of this important music group. I give it 4/5.
Maybe the best rock n roll documentary that I have ever seen. A needle popping the balloon of their own mythology, the band members speaking in silhouette, with tons of archival video and interviews I had never seen before.