Tom Sinclair
October 13, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”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. A-

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