my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Urgh! A Music War
Director:   Derek Burbidge
Year:   1981
Genre:   Concert Film
Times Seen:   2
Last Seen:   11.09.13

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
11.09.13DVDThis Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2013
Thanks to Warner Archive, I have a DVD of this 1981 concert film that's basically a two hour timewarp back to the wave of American punk and birth of new wave. I really love this film. Half the bands I haven't heard of, I don't understand a single lyric, but the music and crowds feel so completely authentic to me that every frame feels fascinating.

Plus you have Klaus Nomi and The Cramps and that incredible performance by Gary Numan in his little future car looking like a petulant child right after a temper tantrum. It's sooo so great I can't even believe it. I've never really thought about a favorite concert film but I'm sure this is at least in my top five. Shout out to Kier-la Janisse for programming it for Music Monday oh so long ago or else I would never have even heard of this.

Next up is.... I'm not sure! It's 11 o'clock now so I'm thinking one maaaaybe two more movies, but the stuff on my DVR seems destined for tomorrow's "Potpouri" day so...
08.08.06Music Monday A pretty impressive list of early-80s new wave and punk bands showcased in this concert film. Although I guess there's about a half hour cut from the print they showed, a 35mm print at all still existing is pretty remarkable. From what the IMDb commentors say, the film is forever wrangled in legal rights issues so it'll never see DVD and severely cut versions only play sporadically on TV. So let's hear it for the Alamo one more time!

The film itself... well it's a concert film shot in 1980. Historical significance, memorable performances (especially Gary Numan zooming around in his futuro-little rascal and The Cramps doing... what The Cramps do (I'd hate to be the guy who has to use the mic afterward)), and a general snapshot of the musical movements that were going on is about all a concert film can hope for and this succeeds. It's still just band after band playing songs though.

One thing I never got was how the new wave and punk meshed so easily. I hear stories about Talking Heads playing CBGBs and stuff and it always confuses me. This connects the dots a little bit - like, i can kind of see some similarities now - but still, just the instrumentation is so radically different, it's pretty surprising for me to think how open audiences must've been back then when they show up to the club and like it whether it's grinding sloppy punk or electronic coldness new wave... I guess they did though.
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