We gave it an A-
”Your future’s dream is a sharpie’s scheme,” sneered Johnny Rotten in 1977 on the Sex Pistols’ definitive punk statement ”Anarchy in the U.K.” These days, with outrage reduced to a mere marketing stategy, it seems the sharpies have prevailed. Thankfully, we have director Julien Temple’s documentary The Filth and the Fury to remind us of an era when a band of unwashed, disenfranchised working class yobbos could shock the world with their resolutely nihilistic public image, obnoxiously incendiary music, and venom filled lyrics.
Temple, who directed the seldom seen 1980 Sex Pistols movie ”The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle” (and recycles some of that footage here), cobbles together the story of the Pistols’ rise and fall in a manner that echoes the group’s spirit, alternating new interviews, electrifying performance footage, and rare clips. Highlight: a middle aged Johnny Rotten getting visibly choked up over Sid Vicious’ death.