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Old 12-02-2001, 09:30 PM   #1
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Notes on Movies: SLC Punk!

When ever I see SLC Punk! (1999) on TV, Iím watching it. It is one of those movies that
is so enjoyable to watch you canít turn the channel. It isnít the best movie, but definately
one of the most enjoyable and most importantly, one of the most truthful movies for what
it talks about. Movies about punk or even teenage rebellion in general where drug use and
violence is present is exploited. It is made to look good in order to better attract the
teenage crowd. This is shameless marketing to teenagers and everyone knows it. SLC
Punk! bring an honest truth to the people it tells about, people that are violent, people that
do abuse drugs and people that are basically in general rebelling, the main character in the
movie, Stevo, has many bad qualities to him but he realizes all of his bad qualities and he
admits to them but what Stevo in general is a character you are drawn to, a character you
can pick out in a crowd immediately and one you can like as he is basically giving a tour to
the audience watching him to all the eccentric characters that he knows and is in his world
of living in punk. Like Goodfellas before it, Stevo is a character that is both inside and
outside of this world, even stopping the movie at times and freely addressing the audience,
his main purpose is to bring us into the world of punks and their behaviors and how they
live. What is so great about this movie is that no character is the same, all operate on their
own levels and are still enjoyable and still as recognizable as the main character. Take for
example Heroin Bob, a character almost recognizable by his face, the black mo hawk we
and army jacket we identify him with but also his character, the fact that even know his
name has heroin in front of it he never took heroin and has an intense fear of needles in
general and his drug of choice is only beer. His voice is clear and stays the same and is
recognizable by just one word he says, this is not just for this character but for all the
characters in this story, all of them off beat and interesting and surprisingly for a movie,
fully developed!

The movie bases itself off of being about the minor characters and gives them all the time
to develop that when we watch the movie on multiple viewings we know that character
fully and appreciate him just on first sight. The movie also doesnít follow one story line
but bringing different scenes together that involve all the characters, a normal movie
would have had a normal story line that would have had to have the minor characters not
be really developed because it would follow just the main characters. This movie is about
all the characters so it doesnít base itself off the normal story line even though their are
traces of it in the movie towards the end. I was reminded of Robert Altmanís MASH and
how he said the movie at the beginning was not connected at all, that is was bascially just
scenes stuck together and only until he added the intercom into the movie did it even come
close to connecting together. But it really didnít, it was just scenes that gave full attention
to all the characters and fully developed them. Even the best movies with a normal story
line have to be at fault at not developing all the characters while movies based on just
scenes together of characters showing who they are fully allowed to develop and still
maintain a sort of small storyline if it wants to.

The movie also realizes the true characters of punks themselves, people who are young, in
school, not fully being made yet to be responsible in the real world and dealing with the
fact that they are growing up and that they might have to make the transition into the adult
world and thus, out of their punk lifestyle, the lifestyle they identify with. Stevo is being
groomed to go to Harvard, his father went to Harvard and now is trying to convince his
son to go too. Stevo doesnít want any part of it but the thing is, he gets the good grades,
he studies for all the tests that would put him into Harvard even though to not want any
part of it, he wouldnít have done that so Stevo is conflicted, on one hand he doesnít want
it but on the other hand he sees the reality of it and that he is going to have to move on.
As Stevo narrates the movie, we find out he is narrating as Stevo not living in the time it is
talking about but the Stevo who is in the future and has conformed and says at one point
of the movie that the Stevo he is narrating the movie would probably get his ass kicked by
the Stevo in the movie. As time drifts on for all the characters in the movie, they all start
to come with terms that they will have move on and they do. All of is left is Stevo and
Heroin Bob, the first two who got into punk and now the last two of the bunch to still be
in it and at a party late in the movie Stevo meets a girl, the girl he will eventually marry,
she takes a look at him and sees how he dresses as a punk and critcizes it, ďWouldnít it be
more rebellious if you didnít spend so much time buying blue hair dye and going out to get
punky clothes?Ē She identifies his punk rebellion as a petty one and tells him that true
rebellion happens in the mind. But we find out this is not the reason for why Stevo and
Heroin Bob went into punk to begin with, we get that understanding from a very touching
and true flashback scene that shows both of them as normal 12 year old kids playing
Dungeons and Dragons and both of them are basically geeks, Bob then plays a tape to
Stevo, something different, punk music and says, ďListen to this.Ē and their punk
revolution begins, but it isnít one of rebellion, but one of trying to be basically loved and
accepted by a crowd of people. This is a movie of kids who are out for friendship but
disguised as punk attitude and rebelling against the norm. SLC Punks! stands out as an
adventurous and extremely entertaining movie while remaining truthful to its subject and
thus a movie worthy of my Notes On Movies series, and also more films to come.


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Old 12-02-2001, 09:32 PM   #2
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Now I am fucking pissed, why can't I get it to go normal when I could do it before without any problem???????
I will honestly quit posting altogether if I don't find out what the reason is because before when I pasted from somewhere else it was fine. This is fucking ridiculous.


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Old 12-02-2001, 09:36 PM   #3
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I am guessing you are writing this in an outside editor.

Mind telling me what you are using to compose this?


"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 12-02-2001, 09:51 PM   #4
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microsoft works.

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Old 12-03-2001, 11:06 PM   #5
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I agree with everything you said about SLC punk.

It's been one of my favorite movies for a long time and whenever I force someone to watch, it usually becomes their's too.

It was amazing to find a movie that treated it's subjects truthfully. As you said many movies about punks and teenagers are exploitive and glossy. I liked how the movie showed all sides of the life style. I think it's also one of the first movies I've seen that really captures what it's like to be at a punk show in a shithole venue, in a repressed town.

The movie is able to be honest about the scene, because it is honest about the characters in the scene. It's a huge strength to a movie, and a strength that shouldn't be as rare as it is. The characters are so engaging, even those I know who have never even met a punk are able to relate to the film and see themselves in it.

The structure of the film, whith it's attention to fully developed characters and it's cut-up narrativ estyle, reminded me very much of the type of structure that has been used in independent comic books for a long while. I think the DVD even includes the SLC comic book.

The only complaint I've heard about the film is about the ending. I can't really say much without spoiling it. Specificly they are unhappy with Steve-o.

I disagree with the complaints and often find that it's my friends who aren't really honest with themselves and thier situation, they probably would have been happier seeing something more exploitive.

SLC PUNK isn't the best movie around, I odn't know if it's make it on my best of top ten list, but it would make it on my favorites list. I've seen it numerous times and because of it's narritive structure, I'm still surprised by it. It's the same effect Ebert talks about on the commentary to Citizen Kane, because you are seeing different time periods of someones life, often in different tones, it's hard to remeber what is coming next when you watch the film. Yet all this diverenge is put together nicely and flows very well.

I enjoyed what you had to say about the movie Rougerum and look forward to more in your series.

SAME OLD STORY- Hardcore American Comedy

[This message has been edited by hermes (edited 12-03-2001).]
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Old 12-06-2001, 06:31 PM   #6
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I agree that SLC Punk is a great movie. I wouldn't have seen it if it wasn't for my cousin Notiti recommending it to me. She never reads FYM or I am sure she would have posted something enthusiastic in this thread already. I think that rouge and hermes covered the details pretty well already so I will just say thanks for the notes, rouge, I enjoyed reading them.

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