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494 Ratings

The Decline of Western Civilization

Directed by Penelope Spheeris
United States, 1981
Documentary, History, Music


The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

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The Decline of Western Civilization Directed by Penelope Spheeris
In the now overflowing annals of rock docs, there’s still nothing else quite like Spheeris’ unprecedentedly intimate hangouts with L.A. punk pioneers—including Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, the Germs, and X, among others—at the cusp of the 1980s.
October 01, 2015
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That Decline would become a singular pop-historical document is a fact that no one could’ve predicted at the time. Spheeris wouldn’t get so far out ahead of the curve again.
September 07, 2015
Amusingly, the sleaziest characters in the film are neither the musicians nor their loyal fans, but the ancient promoters who hover around their venues, completely unconcerned with hardcore’s reputation for chaos so long as it gets them paid.
July 02, 2015
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