The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
July 13, 2022 7:06 AM - Subscribe

The acclaimed Penelope Spheeris documentary takes a frank, often funny look at the punk culture of the late '70s and early '80s. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Rated 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Kanopy, Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Freevee, Fandor, and several others.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is about the time that Henry Rollins joined Black Flag--is he in it?

Another rewatch to plan. IIRC, the movie opens to X's "Nausea", and Darby Crash is weirdly compelling as he's trying to get breakfast together. (I knew that he ODed the day before John Lennon was shot, but I didn't know that it was a suicide.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:34 AM on July 13, 2022

No Henry Rollins in this - the movie came out around the time he joined, but filming was earlier. IIRC it's the same singer as on Jealous Again.
posted by InfidelZombie at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

All three of these are totally worth seeing.
posted by box at 11:10 AM on July 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

The Black Flag footage with Chavo on vocals is a shredder.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:39 PM on July 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

"The music is fast because that's what turns us on. That's the energy level. And the songs are short because that's how long the inspiration lasts."
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:39 AM on July 14, 2022 [5 favorites]

I was JUST talking about this film. After the post on the blue about Donna Summer last week, I went down a disco and no-wave rabbit hole (ESG in heavy rotation), and while talking about it with a friend a couple days later, I realized I was due for my annual-ish rewatch. Ok it’s happening this weekend.
posted by moonbeam at 6:33 PM on July 15, 2022

If I may be so bold, I'd suggest Hanif Abdurraqib's piece on John Lennon and Darby Crash as auxiliary listening. He did a really lovely job framing up Crash and the nascent LA punk community, including his role in this film and beyond.
posted by mykescipark at 3:04 PM on July 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

This was SUCH an impossible movie to find when I was an X-fanatic teen in the late 90s and early 00s. I did eventually get my hands on a copied, low quality VHS tape and watched it (along with X: The Unheard Music and Ugh! A Music War) until the tape was practically worn out.
posted by potrzebie at 8:09 PM on July 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Lol just noticed autocorrect changed "Urgh!" to "Ugh!" which probably would have been a tonally different music documentary but who knows.
posted by potrzebie at 10:49 PM on July 20, 2022

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