The punk culture is always something unfathomed. Rock bands are only one aspect of it. A great example of the non-conformist lifestyle we can get from movies. Let’s try to learn and understand this community from different points of view (the representative of this culture may appear in diverse lines, even as a blackjack high roller at casinos).
The movement includes many aspects and we will consider all of them bellow.
It is one of the driving forces of this subculture. A simple cord structure and quick tempo are the main sound characteristics.
The aggressive vocals often border on scream. The lyrics differ a lot, depending on the sub-genre. For example, the ska-punk and oi! bands mostly criticize the social and political vices, and pop-punk musicians sing about personal issues.
The style may differ among the groups. In general, their outfits are designed to challenge the traditional aesthetics. As a part of the DIY principal, many affiliates create and wear hand-made clothes and accessories.
At music performances, the audience often dances in a violent and chaotic manner. Moshing, a. k. a. slamming consists in pushing against the surrounding crowd. Pogo dance is a jumping in one place, which resembles the moves of a children’s toy. All this makes concerts highly energetic and sometimes even injurious.
The movement is famous for its vibrant poetry and prose. The works of Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, and others stay relevant and influential not just for the subculture, but for the world literature in general. The texts may be spread through the DIY magazines known as “zines”.
Best 9 Punk Movies
This movement inspired many film producers. For deep diving into the punk style and its peculiarities, we offer to look through the reviews of themed films.
Movies of the previous century are still famous and popular. It’s safe to call them classic.
A Clockwork Orange
Category: sci-fi, antiutopian.
Author: Stanley Kubrick.
Starring: Malcolm McDowell.
Plot: This legendary film is based on an antiutopian novel by Antony Burgess. It is a story of a teenage gang member, his crimes, and punishment.
Why watch it: It is a brilliant film! Also, the themes of violence, correction system, and authority critic were close to punks and influenced popular bands like T.S.O.L. and The Adicts.
Author: Penelope Spheeris.
Starring: Bill Coyne, Chris Pedersen, Flea from RHCP, D.I., T.S.O.L., The Vandals.
Plot: A couple of teens ran away from suburban homes to join a squat.
Why watch it: For a genuine representation of the outcasts. Most of the people on the screen are not the actors, but real punks and rockers.
Category: criminal, humor.
Author: Alex Cox.
Starring: Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton.
Plot: An enterprising rocker joins a new job as a repossession agent and gets tangled in a weird adventure with the mad scientist, aliens, crime, and drugs.
Why watch it: It is exciting, funny and features great music by Iggy Pop, Ramones and others.
Sid & Nancy
Category: bio, romance.
Author: Alex Cox.
Starring: Gary Leonard Oldman and Chloe Webb.
Plot: A controversial and celebrated biopic describes the drug-infused love and death of the famous musician and his girlfriend.
Why watch it: To know why “Sid & Nancy” became a meme for destructive love relations and see the extremes of the castaway world.
Category: comedy, drama.
Author: James Merendino.
Starring: Michael Goorjian, Matthew Lillard.
Plot: The film depicts the adventures and daily routine of the two non-conformist pals in a conservative environment.
Why watch it: A film by a punk director offers a realistic look at the suburban subculture, including relations with mods, neo-Nazis, and other “tribes”.
A 21st century from time to time pleases us with the great punk-themed movies and their signature atmosphere.
Scott Pilgrim Vs.The World
Category: comic, comedy.
Author: Edgar Wright.
Starring: Michael Cera, Alison Pill.
Plot: The storyline is based on a successful graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley. In an arcade-like manner, the main hero, a garage band bass guitarist has to fight seven evil exes to save the girl he loves.
Why watch it: Impressive characters and fights, cool post-punk soundtrack.
Punk’s Not Dead
Author: Susan Dynner.
Starring: The Exploited, Ramones, The Adicts, Green Day, Sum 41, The Offspring, Anti-Flag.
Plot: Thirty years after punk was born, the protest culture is still alive and thriving in the US. Discover how it has changed since the 1970’s.
Why watch it: To hear a number of popular stage representatives and see the music genre from the point of pop culture and modern marketing.
Author: Jeremy Saulnier.
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots.
Plot: A punk band is trying to escape the revenge of a violent Nazi skin-head gang after witnessing a crime the white supremacists committed.
Why watch it: It is a critics’ favorite movie and it stands among the best horror films of the decade.
20th Century Women
Category: drama, comedy.
Author: Mike Mills.
Starring: Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig.
Plot: A punk rock inspired comedy-drama about a personal becoming of a 1970’s teen boy and his relationship with his mother, sister, and love interest.
Why watch it: To feel the atmosphere of times when the subculture emerged and meditate on the female fate.