Punk: Attitude

Synopsis: Punk: Attitude is a documentary on the history of punk rock in the USA and UK. The film traces the different styles of punk from their roots in 60s garage and psychedelic bands (Count Five, the Stooges) through glam-punk (New York Dolls) to the 70s New York and London scenes and into the hardcore present. Interviews with many of the musicians are edited with live clips and historical footage.
Director(s): Don Letts
Production: IFC Films
  1 nomination.
90 min

All you need is one guy or girl

to stand up and say f*** this...

and everyone goes,

Voice of a Generation.

Thank you,

I've been thinking that.

I never had the guts

to stand up and say it...

and all of a sudden,

f*** this has a backbeat.

You know,

what John Lennon always said...

say what you mean and mean

what you say, put a beat to it... go.

You only need 5% or less...

to like embrace ideas

and change it...

you know, change the way

people think all over again.

There's always gonna be people who are

artistically inclined who are gonna...

somehow find something that

brings them into the same room...

where they're gonna exchange information

and they're then gonna take that out.

It becomes a lineage.

These people find each other

and this time-line grows.

This is a public service


With guitars

Know your rights

All three of them

You're kickin' ass.

You're doing

something new...

and you don't give a sh*t

about f***ing commerciality...

and that's what punk is.

It's really kind of a philosophical thing

about how you look at some things.

Originally punk meant, you know, a guy

in prison who got f***ed up the ass...

and that's still what it

means to people in prison.

I think it starts with

Brando in the "Wild One".

The famous line from that of course was

"What are you rebelling against?"

And Brando turns to the camera and says,

"What have you got?"

The rebellious part of it

was very important because...

people get

too complacent.

Shake, baby, shake

Shake, baby, shake

And I think the fight against

that complacency is punk rock.

If you look a little

back you see...

it was in 50's rock

and roll is really punk.

Running across the mother f***ing

stage on one leg like this duck.

Like doing this duck walk sh*t and

some punk sh*t, you know what I mean?

Go, my coccon

There is your Mum's music and all

of a sudden here comes Elvis Presley.

Its always very important for like

iconoclastic artists to upset things.

Every culture, every century

has a handful of these dudes.

Guys and girls who go,

"Oh no, you don't"...

If you said, gonna crawl

I'm on the road again

The hippies were the real

punks if you ask me.

That was just as punk

rock as anything...

when everyone was against Vietnam

and they were doing their own thing...

and they were all having parties,

taking LSD at Woodstock and all that.

People were sort of

united against the war...

but they were united generally

against the establishment.

I always liked hippies, man.

I mean this country couldn't go

wrong with them. They're hippies.

You know,

they're not gonna hurt anybody.

They just wanna get high,

hear some music and f***, you know.

We wanted punk to

wipe out the hippies...

blow up the whole world of rock 'n' roll

and start all over again.

Too many tears dropped

For one mind, to be crying

When I was a kid they

used to call punk rock...

like, you know, like,

Lenny Kay's Nuggets...

you know those garage bands

that he came out with...

and that's what I thought

punk rock was.

In his liner notes he said...

well, you know, some critics have

referred to this as punk...

and right after that you just start

to sort of seeing that word a little bit.

They were kind of like, you know,

young kids, American kids...

that were trying to copy what

the Rolling Stones were doing...

and some of the other

English bands...

and weren't really as,

even as, professional as them.

What I'm doing

Yeah, you really got me now

You got me bedside at night

Yeah, you really got me now

I mean I grew up with

the British Invasion...

but there was also really

great American bands...

that kinda got lost

in the shuffle...

like Question Mark & The Mysterions

and The Standells and Count 5...

you know Psychotic Reaction.

You know they were very

simple three-chord rock.

I can't get your love

I can't get affection

Oh, little girls

I got a reaction

And it feels like this

There is a school of thought

that has Andy Warhol...

figuring quite significantly...

in some of the gruesome scratches

that became Punk Rock.

The Velvet's stood out from

that whole hippie culture...

with the dressed in black,

the wraparound shades...

the subject matter

of the material.

The literary influences,

the sado-masochism, the drugs...

it was so attractive

and so alluring...

and I just loved it because it was

saying f*** off to the hippies as well.

Opening peoples minds up

to other possibilities...

can only be done sometimes

with rabid ideas.

Your really trying to be polite

about it in some ways...

and saying "Hey, don't you get it?"

And generally they don't...

and you have to push

the boundaries.

Here she comes

Up three flights of stairs

Nico came and

joined the band...

and this was kind of the first

turn she took in her career...

she was a top

fashion model.

Everybody knows

The things she

does to please

She's just a little tease

See the way she walks

Nobody understood it

at the time...

and that's where I suddenly got

a different view of Andy...

and that he had

the vision of...

of what PR really is and

how to propel image.

But the astonishing thing

about Lou's talent at the time...

was the literary


but also he could sit

down with a guitar...

and pop up a song about

almost anything.

Hey, white boy

What you're doing uptown?

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Don Letts

Donovan "Don" Letts (born (1956-01-10)10 January 1956) is a British film director, DJ and musician. Letts first came to prominence as the videographer for The Clash, directing several of their music videos. In 1984, Letts co-founded the band Big Audio Dynamite with Clash guitarist Mick Jones, acting as the group's sampler and videographer before departing the band in 1990. Letts also directed music videos for Musical Youth, The Psychedelic Furs, The Pretenders and Elvis Costello as well as the feature documentaries The Punk Rock Movie (1977) and The Clash: Westway to the World (2000). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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