The Filth and the Fury

Director: Julien Temple

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Punk rock and independent film: two art forms rooted in the artistic and social necessity for creative freedom and expression free from conventional restraints. Each has been co-opted by culture and commerce, diluting the power they once had. The Filth and the Fury takes what is pure about these two forms of expression and thrusts them together to ere• ate an irreverent, intimate, and shocking portrait of arguably the most influential and certainly the most notorious rock group of all time, the Sex Pistols.

The film charts their rise from the litter-stacked back streets of London through their crucifixion by the 8ritish tabloids, canonization by hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, and ultimate implosion on tour in America. Along the way, myths are debunked and scores are settled.

Painted against the political, economic, and cultural backdrop of London in the mld-1970s, the film depicts what was to become a key transitional moment in English social history. The Fifth and the Fury interweaves footage of live performances, rehearsals, and recording sessions with archival news stories and newly filmed interviews with the four original band members to create a staggeringly comprehensive documentary that accurately contextualizes the band and an era.

Director Julien Temple first documented the Sex Pistols in 1980's The Great Rock 'n' Rolf Swindle, a film skewed from the perspective of the band's manager, Malcolm Mclren, who claimed he was solely responsible for everything the Sex Pistols were or did, Temple now sets the record straight with an intense and epic portrait of the seminal punk band. And now, "never mind the bollocks” here's The Filth and the Fury.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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