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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2017
brilliant dvd about a brilliant time
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on 13 April 2017
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on 24 August 2017
interesting well worth watching
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on 9 May 2015
Really great film, very interesting throughout and some great early footage. Buy it and wig out on your sofa!
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on 19 August 2017
Subtitles had been a nice complement
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on 28 September 2005
This documentary contains an inspiring amount of footage. It's really lively and feels like it gets right to the heart of the band and the punk movement.
What I particularly enjoyed was the way it cut Malcom McClaren down to size. For years people have been saying that he "invented punk" and that the Pistols were a "projection of his fantasies" and silly things like that. But as John Lydon retorts here "I invented me, no one else did." McClaren's boastfulness blows up in his face. He's really made to look stupid, and, whether rightly or wrongly, completely selfish and ruthless.
The interviews with Lydon are funny, clever and moving in turn. When he talks about the death of Sid it's very sad. It's actually quite a tragic tale this. It's easy to forget that Sid was not just an icon but, as Lydon puts it as he tries to hold back the tears "my mate, one of the four Johns."
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on 5 September 2005
This is not only one of the best documentaries that I've ever seen, but ranks up there with the best films I've seen full stop. This Julien Temple made documentary puts to shame the cartoonish mish mash of falsities and self aggrandizement that is Malcolm Maclarens 'The great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle'. There is some fantastic early footage here that I've not seen before - check out the Pistols doing 'No Feelings' in the studio - Rotten is at his scathing, pranksterish best. And is there any image so basically cool - Rock 'N' Roll - as that of Rotten and the Pistols singing 'God Save The Queen' on the riverboat during the Queens silver jubilee celebrations? It's also great to hear him speaking of his London Irish childhood and of the era in which the pistols formed. Whoever thought that Johnny Rotten was influenced by, among other things, Vaudeville, and Ken Dodd? Also, if you can manage to hold back the tears at the end when Johnny is interviewed about the death of Sid Vicious then your stronger than me. Rotten was a highly intelligent, iconoclastic, rebellious prankster that lent an almighty kick in the face to the mediocrity and stunted possibilities of the time. The Pistols gave a shot in the arse to the mucic 'industry' and the culture as a whole, and we should all be grateful to him for doing so. This is a superb film and should be seen by anyone interested in the possibilties of music to, if not change the world, then at least to severly ruffle it's feathers.
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on 21 April 2010
I grew up during the punk period, just starting my teenage years when it broke. I don't know if it was because of this stage of life, or if it was the music itself, but for me, it was a time that defined how I think to this day. All of sudden there was a question mark over how all the accepted conventions, 'why must I be like you'. Like a lot of my friends, I picked up a guitar for the first time, and I produced a wail of absolute rubbish. But to say that punk was a period of destruction is only half the story. It was period that broke down walls and released creativity, individualism and imagination. It was brief, but it's effects have rippled through the decades. The death of Malcolm McClaren made me want to dig out this DVD again. I always thought that he was much more a showman than a Svengali, but he played a part, and he played it very well. So for what it's worth, RIP Malcolm. The tragic tale of Sid, casts a very real cloud over the story. Despite this, how ironic that at the end of the day, all that rebellion made the Pistols so revered, released so much creativity and free-thinking that they have become an institution in themselves. Pure art. I can't help look back and smile.
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I came to this film having recently read Vivienne Westwood's (with Ian Kenny)
2014 autobiography, in itself a vivid and absorbing account of the genesis of punk
culture and the major players in the drama which unfolded in and around her
and Malcolm McClaren's chaotic World's End shop in the gloom of 1970's Britain.

Julian Temple's 2007 work about the rise and fall of The Sex Pistols is set against
a backdrop of national political turmoil and its impact on socially and emotionally
disaffected youth is an engaging and powerful masterclass in documentary making.

The recollections of surviving band members are shot in shadow, an at times
disconcerting technique which nonetheless serves to amplify the tawdry story.
Mr Rotten's narrative, in particular, is both articulate and curiously affecting.

Live footage of the band in their mercurial but damned ascendency captures
a real sense of what it must have been like to be trapped in a room with them!

Although by no means a fan at the time I find myself drawn to them in my dotage.

Highly Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2002
It's difficult to remember how bland and ordinary life was for most people in the 70's. That's why punk was almost inevitable. The beauty of this film is the documentary approach, which makes this a visual collage. The excerpts from everyday life, television shows, comedians on stage and media reaction bring the whole thing brilliantly to life. When you see what punk was reacting against it is almost laughable, and you will be moved to chuckle on many occasions.
Even if you despise what punk is "supposed" to stand for, you can understand the attraction and need for punk. The band themselves are relaxed and open about their involvement and this definitely sheds new light on the phenomenom for those who care.
Although some of the footage has been seen before, there is enough new film to make the whole film refreshing. My only compaint is some particularly queasy dubbing on some of the concert footage, a minor misgiving on the whole. In a word, indispensable.
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