Anyone else seen this movie?
Would it be bad to say that, offensiveness aside, I really enjoyed it?
It was pretty difficult to watch the first half. Because it’s about a couple of anarchists living in Salt Lake City, there are a lot of stabs at religion. The opening credits feature some sacrilegious CD covers as well as a supposed-to-be-funny scene where a character has an acid trip where he thinks he encounters our Savior.
However, the movie doesn’t praise these actions. There’s one character who’s so obsessed with proving that science is the ultimate answer he ends up being irrational and fanatic. Kind of commenting that usually it’s the attitude and the people causing dissension, not the belief itself.
Matthew Lilliard does a good job as Steve-O and depiction of hubris is overall pretty engaging.
Wow. That brings back memories! I remember when that came out in 1999. It was one of my favorite movies back then (as I was an atheist, punk rocking anarchist at the time.) It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I don’t think I would find it offensive now. Then again, I guess once you’ve lived it, the shock value is kind of gone. Overall, the movie had some redeeming qualities… i.e. an anti-drug message (Heroin Bob’s straight-edge rants were great… “Chemicals, man! They’ll @#&! you up!”), and Steve-O decides to do something constructive with his life (even if it is ideologically unsound).
The scene to which you referred, in which Devon Sawa accidentally overdoses on acid and thinks Bob is walking on water, I found to be neither sacrilegious or funny. Having quite a few old friends who are now acid casualties (and bearing a few psychological scars of my own), the scene was really more sad than anything and hit close to home for me.
Overall, the picture it painted of its subject was not a very endearing or affirming one. Funny, as a youth, I didn’t seem to think so. :o But, in my opinion, it was a very well written movie that really succeeded in capturing the the misguided angst and anger of the punk subculture.
So strange…this movie came up in conversation with my husband just today! We had both seen it when involved in the punk scene as kids but I really don’t remember much of it (and I wasn’t even a drug user!). Generally, if a movie or play is being true to the characters and non-gratuitous, it seems fine if watched by those mature and grounded enough for the material.
A slight tangent from your subject, many anarcho-punk kids didn’t grow up and assimilate…you might not even be aware of the anarcho-Catholic down the street! In fact, as a devout Catholic, you are part of a counter-culture!
I can’t deny that I’ve retained some of my punk leanings. While I no longer hold to the dream of anarchy, or even anarcho-syndicalism (the refined man’s anarchy), I still can’t identify with mainstream political ideologies or social norms, especially when it comes to my aesthetic sensibilities. But, of course, that was one of the first things I began to recognize when I was coming into the Church. In the fullest sense, the Church is inherently counter-cultural, especially today, and, in America, has even housed an anarchist movement (led by Dorothy Day). So it made the transition a little easier.
When is the movie dated as taken place? Growing up in the DC suburbs in the mid 80’s the DC hardcore scene was underground and only accessible by going to shows downtown. The DC scene leaned right at it’s hardest point, but had skaters type anarchist on the outskirts. Yes, I still were docs, though just greasy black, not oxbloods anymore.
It takes place in the early 80’s, but it’s set in Salt Lake City. As far as it leaning right, when I think of DC hardcore, I think of Bad Brains and Minor Threat, neither of whom I really associate with the word “conservative” (unless you count Ian MacKaye’s straight edge philosophy… his politics were definitely liberal, though.) Then again, I guess the crowd could have been a different story…
Bad Brains died out at the last RAR (Rock against Racism/Reagan in 82-3ish…nobody like Ian cause he jammed straight edge down everyone’s throats.lol. DC and NYC were alot alike and shared some bands. The long haired Oi boys and skins run things for most of the time. Jello from DK’s had to stop a show after the stage was rushed during NAzi punks F.O. That kind of set the standard. The places to be on any given Friday was the excorsist steps and under the Key bridge at the canals of Georgetown…everyone left there for the shows we heard of.
I’d like to see the movie, but don’t want to relive some things that I regret. Samson
Man, I’m starting to really like this thread! And yeah, I totally agree! It’s not affirming the punk scene, it’s about Steve-O having to come to terms with some growing pains. He becomes more vulnerable over the course of the film. The portrayal of punks, although not complete, is much more true than most Hollywood depictions.
Maybe the scene with the acid overdose isn’t supposed to be funny. What happens to a lot of those characters is pretty heartbreaking.
Overall, I think this film really cuts you if you’ve ever identified with punk.
Haha, this “counter-cultural” that’s how I justify my listening to punk nowadays. Although a lot of punk lyrics are negative or for shock value, there’s a lot of lyrics that are a call to action such as Operation Ivy (whom I listen to frequently, except for “Missionary”)
I love music, but this genre is one I’ve struggled with a lot.
Also, I appreciate how Steve-O is named after Stephen Egerton from Descendents and ALL. I’ve seen Descendents live, probably one of the loudest, most life-threatening concerts I’ve ever been too, haha. If my mother saw some of the tattooed people of this crowd, I’m not sure if she really would have let me go…
Exactly. I guess I was too immature at the time to pick up on the very blatant undercurrent of disillusionment with the punk scene itself that ran through the film. Now that I’m grown and out of that phase of my life, it definitely cuts deep.
I’ve been on this topic all day on these forums. lol. I feel much the same way. I’ve been writing for the past hour about how I would rather my kids listen to punk/industrial than pop music. At least it’s thought provoking! I still listen to Fugazi, Minor Threat, and even Propagandhi every now and then. I don’t agree with their politics, but at least it’s sincere.
Operation Ivy was great, as well. What do you think… Rancid or Op. Ivy? Who wins that battle?
For sure. Yeah, I definitely don’t agree with the viewpoint and lifestyle of these bands, but at least there’s conviction and thought put into their songs. They’re not master musicians, but there’s a lot of passion there.
I think it’s important to listen to a variety of things. I’d be worried about a teenager who only listens to Black Flag (who I also got to see live last December. this was the same as the night I saw Descendents back in December. CRAZY show.)
The worst (other than satanic music) is top 40. That shows no effort in trying to find some depth other than a nice beat and catchy lyrics that emphasize feelings/romance way too much.
Rancid vs. Op Ivy? Huh… I’d go with Operation Ivy. I listen to Rancid pretty frequently too, but Operation Ivy is so raw and had more of a purpose behind their songs. Hah, it feels like more and more Rancid sings more about life experiences and growing older (like later Social Distortion). And man, Jesse Michaels can spit those lyrics fast!
I was in the Goth and Industrial scene for ten years and had blue hair so I identified alot with this movie when I was younger. It is a good flick. Still debating if I should ever show it to my parents, It might hit too close to home for them.