×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Other F Word

A raucous, eye-opening, sad and unexpectedly wise look at veteran punk rockers as they adapt to the challenges of fatherhood.

With:
With: Jim Lindberg, Flea, Lars Fredrickson, Ron Reyes, Mark Hoppus, Fat Mike, Rob Chaos, Duane Peters, Tony Hawk, Tim McIlrath, Tony Cadena, Jack Grisham, Art Alexakis, Greg Hetson, Josh Freese, Brett Gurewitz.

The Other F Word” is a raucous, eye-opening, sad and unexpectedly wise look at veteran punk rockers as they adapt to the challenges of fatherhood. To be sure, watching foul-mouthed, colorfully inked musicians attempt to fit themselves into Ward Cleaver’s smoking jacket provides for some consistently hilarious situational comedy, but the film’s deeper delving into a whole generation of artists clumsily making amends for their own absentee parents could strike a resonant note with anyone (punk or not) who’s stumbled headfirst into family life. Theatrical release is a definite possibility; strong ancillary is a given.

It’s all but inevitable that every rebellious youth subculture will eventually grow up and join the establishment (baby boomers have been making hay of this tension for the past three decades), though few movements have been as violent in their repudiation of social norms as Los Angeles’ hardcore punk scene of the early ’80s. It’s almost a shock to the system, then, to see gray-bearded Ron “Chavo” Reyes, early frontman for the notoriously anarchic scene leaders Black Flag, carting his van-full of kids around Vancouver. And these shocks continue throughout.

“The cool thing about what I do for a living,” says Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, speaking for most of the film’s subjects, “is that the expectations for me as a parent are just so fucking low.” Some of those profiled, like Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Adolescents frontman Tony Cadena, were inspired by fatherhood to make wholesale changes in their lifestyles. Others, like NOFX’s Fat Mike and Total Chaos’ Rob Chaos, are still dyed-in-the-wool troublemakers. But the desire to buck these low expectations is a constant.

While she casts a broad net, director-writer Andrea Blaugrund Nevins has a perfect anchor in Jim Lindberg, frontman for 20-year-old Hermosa Beach, Calif., band Pennywise, and father to three angelic young daughters. There’s a charming irony in the sight of the man who once had a radio hit titled “Fuck Authority” laying down the law on his kids’ use of the expletive “turd-head,” but on the whole, Lindberg seems an almost boringly normal suburban dad.

The key difference, however, is that Lindberg has to leave his family for months on end in order to maintain this comfortable domesticity; with album sales royalties a distant memory, constant touring is the only reliable source of income most of these men have. Lindberg remembers his traveling-salesman father missing his Little League games, and openly wonders if it’s even possible to be a decent father and a rock star; he eventually decides it isn’t.

While the first half of “The Other F Word” alternates between cuteness and sweetly rude comedy, Nevins manages to steer her subjects into rather dark territory without allowing the film to become a succession of sob stories. Most of the punkers here only gravitated to the scene in search of a surrogate family after growing up with absentee or disinterested fathers (many were teenage runaways, or in Flea’s case, a preteen runaway), and some can get downright poetic in describing the childhood scars that make them stick around for their kids. In particular, U.S. Bombs bandleader Duane Peters relates a story that will leave most viewers in tears.

Edited with an appropriately hyperkinetic style that will be familiar to anyone reared on skate videos, pic is good-looking and briskly paced. Archival footage and a wealth of vintage punk on the soundtrack (credits include a shout-out to the “totally bitchin’ lawyer who schooled us on fair use”) help complete the picture.

Popular on Variety

The Other F Word

Production: A Rare Bird Films in association with Warrior Poets production. Produced by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins, Cristan Reilly. Executive producers, Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick. Directed, written by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Geoffrey Franklin; editor, Franklin; supervising sound editor, Chris M. Jacobson; re-recording mixers, Marti D. Humphrey, Chris M. Jacobson. Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (Spotlight Premieres), March 17, 2011. Running time: 97 MIN.

Cast: With: Jim Lindberg, Flea, Lars Fredrickson, Ron Reyes, Mark Hoppus, Fat Mike, Rob Chaos, Duane Peters, Tony Hawk, Tim McIlrath, Tony Cadena, Jack Grisham, Art Alexakis, Greg Hetson, Josh Freese, Brett Gurewitz.

More Scene

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Keke Palmer BlogHer19 Summit

    Keke Palmer Brought to Tears Accepting Truth Teller Award at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit

    Keke Palmer stood surprised and wide-mouthed on the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit stage as she was presented with the Truth Teller Award for her recent acting work — and her viral “sorry to this man” clip. “This means so much,” the multi-hyphenated star softly whispered as she got teary-eyed upon accepting the award. Last week, the [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content