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Author Topic: Filth and the Fury
Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-22-2000 10:54 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There aren't too many documentaries about British punk bands that I would recommend to my grandparents. This is not one of them.

However, if you're not easily offended and if you can stay awake through the first reel (which is pretty dull), this is worth seeing. It's a fairly well-done history of the Sex Pistols from the beginning to the end; it's made up mostly of home movies and stock footage along with interviews with the band members and their fans. Other than the first half-hour or so, it's pretty well done and the pacing is reasonable. I found it to be rather interesting, despite the fact that I'm not much of a fan of this particular band.

That's the good news. Here's the bad news: this is a video transfer; I really enjoy most well-done documentaries, but the "shoot on Betacam and transfer to film later" attitude seems to be far too common among documentary filmmakers. What really breaks my heart about this picture, though, is that much of the original material was shot on super-8 and 16mm film and that the image quality could have easily been far better if the producers had done proper optical blow-ups rather than taking the cheap way out and transferring the film to tape and then re-transferring the tape back to 35mm. Ugh. Also, I was rather surprised that, especially for a documentary about a band, the producers didn't put much effort into a good mix. The whole soundtrack sounds like it's coming through a telephone, which often makes it difficult to understand the thick British accents.

Oh, well. This is not for everyone, but it's interesting enough that I could more-or-less forgive most of the technical flaws.

One and a half thumbs up.

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