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  Filth and the Fury, The What Was the Rude Word?
Year: 2000
Director: Julien Temple
Stars: John Lydon, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, Sid Vicious
Genre: Documentary, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: The story of the Sex Pistols, the British punk band who made a tremendous impact on the 70's, but only lasted two short years before they fell apart.

Julien Temple's brilliantly edited documentary is a definite improvement on his previous Sex Pistols film, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. It's an attempt by the band to put the record straight and give their own version of what happened, rather than, say, Malcolm McLaren's "bullshit" version - throughout the film McLaren is amusingly represented by a rubber fetish mask. All the band members have honest and worthwhile things to say, even Sid Vicious, represented in footage from an interview with Temple in the 70's.

The film perfectly sums up the irreverence, the cheek, the intelligence and the raw energy of the band, while also stressing the bitterness, the regret and ultimately the tragedy. What's great about the Pistols - apart from one classic album, of course - is the amount of people they pissed off, including the politicians, councillors, religious leaders, the press and the police. And all for saying that they felt life in 1970's Britain was shit, with its riots, strikes, poverty, hypocrisy and, um, prog rock. Their influence is difficult to underestimate and this documentary paints a vivid picture of the times, although from this you'd be forgiven for thinking the Pistols were the only punk band around.

Watch for: an analysis of the Bill Grundy interview, unexpectedly touching footage of a Christmas Day benefit gig for striking firemen, an American concert performed under a hail of missiles. Also with: appropriate clips from the 70's, featuring the likes of Tommy Cooper, Max Wall, Rod Hull and Emu and Benny Hill. Oh, yeah, and Michael Fish. The most inspired clips are those taken from the Laurence Olivier adaptation of Richard III, providing a great commentary on the story. The best clip? The man in the deckchair's reaction to Sid Vicious.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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