The Decline of Western Civilization

A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean.

A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean.

Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk group members and talks with club owners, managers, critics and hardcore fans.

Film constitutes a 100-minute total immersion in the indigenous California punk world.

While a few of the rockers come off as artificial poseurs, many more surprise through revealing articulation of whys and wherefores of their lifestyle, and what comes through most strongly is purity of their dedication to their music.

Given top-notch craftsmanship, it’s hard to believe effort was made independently for $100,000, and well-nigh impossible to detect that 35mm print is a 16mm blowup.

The Decline of Western Civilization

Production: Spheeris. Director Penelope Spheeris; Producer Penelope Spheeris; Camera Steve Conant; Editor Charles Mullin, Peter Wiehl

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 100 MIN.

More Film

  • Silk movie

    Spider-Man's 'Silk,' a Korean-American Superhero, Gets Her Own Movie

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

  • Jason Blum Talks 'Get Out 2,'

    Jason Blum on 'Get Out 2' and Why He Couldn't Have Made 'A Quiet Place'

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

  • Diego Luna

    L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to Address Latino Association Summit, Diego Luna to Be Honored

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

  • NewportFILM Unveils Summer Slate

    NewportFILM Unveils Summer Slate

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

  • Lagardere Studios' Imagissime Unveils New Documentaries

    Lagardere Studios' Imagissime Unveils New Slate of Documentaries (EXCLUSIVE)

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

  • JEFF GOLDBLUM returns as Dr. Ian

    'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Charges Toward $133 Million Opening Weekend

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

  • Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie

    Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie to Reunite in 'Point Blank' Remake

    A bracing, stimulating and technically superb close-up look at the LA punk scene, pic is pitched at a perfect distance to allow for simultaneous engagement in the music and spectacle, and for rueful contemplation of what it all might mean. Artistic strategy here is to combine provocative performance footage with ‘at home’ interviews with punk […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content