The Decline of Western Civilization

USA, 1981 (Penelope Spheeris; 1h 40m)

Spheeris has referred to herself as a ‘rock ‘n roll anthropologist’. Hmm. But here is the cultural exploration that set a course to Wayne’s World (1992).

Penelope Spheeris‘s feature debut as a writer-director-producer was this insiders’ look at the punk music scene in L.A., mixing raw concert footage with interviews of band members, managers, fans, club owners, and others. A former “punk” herself, Spheeris effectively elicits their no-holds-barred thoughts on life, music, drugs, pet tarantulas, haircuts, dead gardeners, and… Well, you get the point. How interesting you find all of this will ultimately depend upon how intrigued you are either by subcultures in general, and/or with the punk movement, which we quickly learn is grounded in nihilism, anger, violence, and bigotry — all on ample display here.
Date: June 20th, 2020
Time: 5:30pm
Finishes at: 7:10pm