Taehee Kim
November 20, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST


Current Status
In Season
Documentary, musical

We gave it an A

Finally, a punk retrospective that’s worth its weight in safety pins. A collection of 18 classic songs performed live circa 1977, this video captures all the energy and exhilaration of such groups as the Sex Pistols and the Jam early in their careers. Filmed literally underground — in tiny subterranean British clubs — the footage of such legendary anthems as ”Anarchy in the U.K.” perfectly conveys the immediacy and anticommercialism of punk. At times more heartfelt than tuneful (a disastrously off-key Buzzcocks performing ”What Do I Get” is especially amusing) this tape has an authenticity that is a welcome relief from the prefab ”punk” of latter-day sellouts and the slickness of MTV. Judging from the tape’s well-selected clips, P.U.N.K.‘s consultant Jon Savage (who wrote England’s Dreaming, 1992’s definitive history of British punk) seems to have done his job well. Punctuated by quotes from the avatars of punk and including a rare clip of an expressionless Joy Division performing ”ShadowPlay,” this is 60 minutes of near sublimity. A

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