Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Decline of Western Civilization

The Decline of Western Civilization is an American documentary film filmed through 1979 and 1980. The movie was directed by Penelope Spheeris about the Los Angeles punk rock scene from 1979 to 1981. In 1981, the LAPD Chief of Police Daryl Gates wrote a letter demanding the film not be shown again in L.A. Over the years the film has gained cult status.

The film's title is a reference to famous music critic Lester Bangs' 1970 two-part review of The Stooges' Fun House for Creem Magazine. In the article, Bangs quotes a friend who had said the popularity of The Stooges signaled "the decline of Western civilization."

Featuring concert footage of legendary Los Angeles punk bands, and interviews both with band members, the publishers of Slash, and with the punks who made up their audience, the film offers a look into a subculture that was largely ignored by the rock music press of the time.

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