The Filth And The Fury review

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As newspaper headlines go, it's up there with "Gotcha!" and "Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster". The morning after The Sex Pistols swore on live TV, the Daily Mirror led the hungry hack pack with a front page that screamed "The Filth And The Fury". It's fitting that Julien Temple makes this the title of his Pistols documentary because the band - whose recorded output struggles to fill two albums - has gone down in history more as a tabloid phenomenon than a musical force.

Temple thinks they deserve better recognition than that. The film kicks off by establishing the political backdrop that gave birth to the group - strikes, riots, IRA bombs - giving a precise social context to this raw assemblage of interviews and concert footage. If The Great Rock `n' Roll Swindle was effectively the same thing filtered through the ego of manager Malcolm McLaren, then this is The Sex Pistols Story: The Band's Cut.

This isn't a rose-spectacled romp: the hellish American tour and Sid Vicious' heroin addiction pull the film towards tragedy. Any nostalgia on show isn't for the songs and fashions, but a time when music really could shake up the system.


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