Video Review

1991: The Year Punk Broke


Details Genres: Documentary, Musical; With: Nirvana and Sonic Youth

This documentary of Sonic Youth's 1991 European tour begs the question, How can postpunk be so compelling and so profoundly irksome at the same time? In off-stage scenes, director Dave Markey strives for a kind of cinema verité-meets-homemade-fanzine appeal and succeeds almost too well. We carefully apply lipstick with Kurt Cobain, spoof Madonna's Truth or Dare with Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, and witness nearly every bodily function of bandmate Thurston Moore in claustrophobic detail. The enthralling performances — including SY's ''Schizophrenia'' and Dinosaur Jr's ''Freak Scene'' — redeem most of 1991: The Year Punk Broke's backstage excesses. B+

Originally posted Apr 16, 1993 Published in issue #166 Apr 16, 1993 Order article reprints

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