Saturday, 29 July 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 221: Fri Aug 11

1991: The Year Punk Broke (Markey, 1992): Rio Cinema, 10.30pm


This is the second in a regular series of NTS Radio & Rio Cinema screenings, a special presentation of the 1992 music documentary '1991: The Year Punk Broke'.

The documentary follows Sonic Youth around their legendary 1991 European tour and its screening at the Rio will mark 25 years since its theatrical debut. The show will be accompanied by never-before-seen footage of Sonic Youth and Nirvana, kindly provided by the film's director Dave Markey.

Skinny Girl Diet will perform a live set before the film starts, with NTS hosts Black Impulse DJing in the Rio's foyer after the film. Doors from 10.30pm BST. Skinny Girl Diet play at 23.15. DJ's till late.


AV Club review:
Sometimes it takes a little serendipity for a rock documentary to become something special. While the filmmakers behind classics such as Don’t Look Back, Woodstock, and Gimme Shelter deserve credit for choosing their subjects wisely, they couldn’t have predicted their excellent timing. The same can be said of Dave Markey’s 1991: The Year That Punk Broke, an occasionally amateurish, frequently riveting film about Sonic Youth’s tour of European rock festivals in August 1991. As the band’s Thurston Mooreadmits during a panel discussion included in the extras for the film’s new DVD edition, 1991 was essentially a “home movie” shot on Super 8, and not intended to become an actual motion picture. It was only after one of Sonic Youth’s supporting acts—a scruffy, largely unheralded Seattle trio named Nirvana—became a sensation within weeks of playing those shows that Markey’s ragtag collection of performance footage and backstage goofiness suddenly became bankable.
Not that Markey rushed to cash in on Nirvana-mania. He didn’t even want to include an early performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” reasoning that nobody would want to hear a song that was still all over the radio when the film was released in 1992. Fortunately, he decided otherwise—the live clip is both fantastically explosive and historically valuable—but 1991 stubbornly keeps the focus on Sonic Youth, the tour’s unquestioned star and a vital pillar of the oncoming alt-rock empire about to take over pop culture. While future stars like Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Courtney Love lurk in the background of 1991—and bands like Dinosaur, Jr., Babes In Toyland, and the Ramones contribute gloriously unruly performances—the spotlight never leaves Sonic Youth for long.
Steven Hyden

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