The Filth and the Fury (2000)

THE FILTH AND THE FURY is one of the grimiest documentaries of all 
time and not just because of the subject matter, notoriously grimy 
punk innovators the Sex Pistols.  You're also left wanting a bath 
due to the effectively unsettling use of poor-quality footage, be 
it blurry, grainy, under-lit, or color-challenged.  (I like how 
the presumably *present*-day material is turned into thirty-year 
old-looking stock footage.)  Director Julian Temple (EARTH GIRLS 
ARE EASY) takes an equally unconventional narrative route by in-
terviewing the living band members in shadow, so neither their 
faces nor bodies are shown.  He also intercuts near-continuously 
with a wild variety of footage, from Lawrence Oliver performing 
"Richard III" to assembly instructions for S&M attire!  Eh, for 
those unfamiliar with the band and/or the genre, this one gets 
more compelling as it goes.  Especially after Sid Vicious and his 
skanky, kinda Courtney Love-lookin' girlfriend Nancy come aboard.  
(Friends, is she scary-looking or *what*?)  And whatever the du-
bious quality of the footage-- or dialogue... or live-recorded mu-
sic...-- the fidelity of the Pistol's *studio* recordings is su-
perb.  Rock on.  With Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, Mal-
colm McLaren, and Johnny Rotten, who delivers the most profound 
observation of anyone in the movie: "if you talk like an asshole 
and look like an asshole, you are an asshole."  (Rated "R"/105 

Grade: B

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: Spaceships and Sex Pistols

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros