Editorial: Punk’s Not Dead - Its Just Resting - Publication: Independent Film Magazine Back to Editorials

Cliche for some is discover for others. While 55 plus Steve Jones, the former guitarist from the iconic sex pistols now does ads for car dealerships on a mainstream FM radio station, punk is apparently significant.

At least director Susan Dymer thinks so. She and her crew put together a lengthy documentary about the subject of punk rock as a counter culture, sourcing hours of archive footage from the late seventies and juxtaposing it with  more recent interviews with various bands of the genre, live snippets and even tribes of local LA youngsters who still don the costume and cough up mucous to impress people.

According to her bio, Director/ Producer Susan Dynner fell in love with punk rock as a teenager after attending a Minor Threat show in the early 80s. Susan was inspired to document the people, faces, and places that made up the DC scene. By the age of 15, Susan had photographed such legendary punk bands as Black Flag, The UK Subs, GBH, Minor Threat, The Exploited,

Circle Jerks and many more. An established photographer while still in high school, by the time she entered film school at the University of Wisconsin, Susan’s photographs had found their way onto numerous album covers, liner notes, band t-shirts, fliers, and zines.

There’s  a mass of footage here, the editing of this documentary must have been a monumental feat. Yet that’s where the story ends.

Dynner's blind fanaticism is just that, as a diehard "fan,"  rather than a documentary film maker with a fitting apolitical stance, she seems to miss the point, her sentimentality for her subject clouding real intellectual analysis.

Rather than depict the ironies that sees the third generation of punk little more than an aesthetic, she instead is determined to underscore the fact that the genre is still a force to be reckoned with.

In an anthropological sense there's a few misnomers here. How did grunge multi million selling Nirvana ever qualify as punk?  apparently they were, but god knows what the logic is here.

With no narrator and wreckless direction,  this documentary relies totally on interviews to convey its message, which is more homage than anything else. Ultimately it ends up as little more than a preaching to the converted than offering any fresh perspectives.


Written by Craig Stephens

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