AMERICAN HARDCORE: THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN PUNK ROCK 1980-1986 (Paul Rachman, 2006)
136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry St. & Wythe Ave.
Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, 12 noon
A must-see for fans of loud, fast, angry music circa 1980-86, American Hardcore looks at one of the smaller but nonetheless influential movements in American music. A basic doc in the classic do-it-yourself sensibility that informed so much of the music scene it chronicles, American Hardcore features interviews with Henry Rollins, lead singer of Black Flag; H.R., the mercurial, difficult, but brilliant lead singer for the Bad Brains; Mike Watt of the Minutemen; and various personnel from the Circle Jerks, Minor Threat, and 7 Seconds. Tommy Stinson of the Replacements and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers weigh in as well. The abundance of old concert footage is fabulous, but director Paul Rachman and writer Steven Blush discovered much of it in shoeboxes in basements during their low-budget cross-country trip while making the movie, so the overall production quality is not high ― which in some ways works better overall. The film does a good job of lovingly showing just how home-grown and amateurish the scene was and debating the importance of the scenes in Houston, Minneapolis, DC, Boston, and Southern California. The finale with a graphic artist and cover designer calling for the next generation of hardcore is a riot. American Hardcore is screening July 13 and 14 at 12 noon as part of the Nitehawk Cinema series “Music Driven”; the Saturday show will be followed by a Q&A with director Rachman, while Blush will be on hand for a Q&A after Sunday’s screening. (In addition to writing the American Hardcore book, Blush has also created one of the great music sites, 24 Hours of Hardcore, where visitors can stream hundreds of the best, and often hardest-to-find, songs from the movement he has so thoroughly explored.) The Nitehawk series continues August 10-11 with Peter Glantz and Nick Noe’s Lightning Bolt: The Power of Salad and September 14-15 with Shane Meadows’s This Is England.