the picture book of the Sex Pistols and the punk explosion by Danny Boyle

the picture book of the Sex Pistols and the punk explosion by Danny Boyle

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Where Baz Luhrmann had barely three hours to recount the four decades of Elvis Presley’s reign, from Tupelo to Memphis via Las Vegas, his British colleague Danny Boyle can deploy the passage of the Sex Pistols meteor over six hours in the London sky, it’s the law of the series. The two directors work on the same material, a screenplay by Australian Craig Pearce, who has worked with Luhrmann for a long time.

The punk style adopted by Danny Boyle throughout the six episodes of Pistol (which is more pastiche than adherence to the principles of this aesthetic) is not enough to hide the similarities between the two projects. A southern child of the Great Depression or a handful of third-class passengers on a sinking ship (the United Kingdom in the mid-1970s), the protagonists are called upon to assume a prophetic status even if it means taking all the liberties with history. . And, anyway, if everything ends badly, it’s the fault of the manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker for Elvis, Malcolm McLaren in the case of the Sex Pistols.

You should therefore not rely on Pistol to provide a relevant analysis of the British punk eruption, but the witnesses and actors of the episode, now almost seventy years old, will find there material for nostalgia while their younger brothers will glimpse the violence and the beauty of an episode without equivalent in the history of rock.

perverse love story

Craig Pearce worked from Lonely Boy (EPA, 2017), memoir written by Sex Pistols founder and guitarist Steve Jones. Unloved child, barely educated, Jones (Toby Wallace) would see himself as a rockstar, except that he can neither sing nor play an instrument. To equip his group, he mows instruments, amps and cars without ever making great musical progress.

His road from Damascus is called King’s Road, the artery of Chelsea, where Vivienne Westwood (Talulah Riley) and Malcolm McLaren (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) opened Sex, a fashion boutique that violently opposes models of the hippie era. . Between the child of proletarians and the bourgeois nourished by situationist theory, a perverse love story is born, made up of manipulation and compassion.

Chrissie Hynde is a kind of Jiminy Cricket who tries to keep Steve Jones on the right track of rock’n’roll

The Jones-Westwood-McLaren triangle takes on orgiastic dimensions according to the irruption of characters that the spectator is called upon to identify: the saleswoman of Sex, from Cleveland, Ohio, it is Chrissie Hynde, who will found the Pretenders a few years later ; his client and soon to be colleague who takes the double-decker bus dressed in transparent plastic is Jordan, muse of the movement. Until John Lydon (Anson Boon) bursts in and is hired by Malcolm McLaren as a singer under the pseudonym of Johnny Rotten.

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