Welcome to Screenage Kicks - a blog concentrating on the lurid, feral excitement of on screen 'punk attitude'.
Bare with me, this blog is in it's tentative stages, but I hope to cover a wealth of cinema that influenced punk, was influenced by punk, or is in itself - pure punk. However my definition of 'what is punk?' is based on notions of attitude, subversion, rebellion, transgression, visceral excitement, self exploration, boundary breaking, abandon, and both brutal realism and wild escapism. A broadbased appreciation of life changing or challenging movies, having little to do with prescribed identikit cliches of 'punk'. The concept of 'punk cinema' by it's very existence should challenge the notion of what is, and what is not 'punk cinema'. Reflecting this 'break the rules' outlook my writing will vary wildly between flip fan-istic enthusiasm and more serious academic investigations and insights, depending on my mood (and level of aggression).
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Socially and personally - politically transgressive jet black comedy. One of the finest 'head-fuck' films of the 1970s. Part of the Yugoslavian film movement known as 'the Black Wave' the film is rooted in the motivations of the global counterculture of the 60s that were by then, stranded in the 70s and being forced to deal with the death of the leftist hippy dream under the all consuming tide of consumerism and fractured societies. Employing disturbing imagery and modes in a provocative, questioning, analytical, self reflective and socio-politically critical way which pointed towards the deeper elements of the oncoming punk (situationism, anarchy, the dialogue between left and right, socio-political discourse) movement. In that manner it sit's somewhere between Jodorowsky's El Topo and Derek Jarmans Jubilee - with extra Eastern Block politicking and some John Waters 'shock camp' thrown in for effect. All bases are covered, uncovered, dissected, digested and spewed out in a stream of bizarreness that veers from dark hilarity to even darker moments of genuinely disturbing discomfort - sexuality, sexism, feminism, mental illness, perversion, cruelty, automation, pedophilia, communism, fascism, rascism, power, greed, corruption, the natural, the unnatural, homosexuality, scatology, fame, desire, obsession, oppression, regression, revolution, repulsion, control, abandon, freedom, enslavement, the themes are literally endless and it's startling how much director Dusan Makavejev packs into it's duration. Wrapped loosely around two main narratives that provide frameworks for the subversive themes and startling imagery. The imagery is jarring, shocking, repulsive, sexy, poetic and layered with cryptic metaphor, but always startling in it's beauty, these rich associative montages may be amongst the finest of such cinematic mechanisms in cinema full stop, rarely do we see such modes of screen expression taken to such extremes. A truly unsettling aesthetic, as the mise-en-scene both enticingly seductive in its weird beauty yet repulsive in its darker moments creates a refreshing 'out there' piece of work. High camp imagery melds with high art, this footage often deliberately sexy or sexualized, almost surrealist, often ridiculous, is intercut with original real field footage of second world war atrocities. There is no safe way to view this film, your perceptions and comfort zones will be challenged at every turn. It's about as punk as it gets.