American Hardcore Paul Rachman

American Hardcore Paul Rachman
From 1980 to 1986, a relatively unknown explosion occurred in the musical underground of America. It didn’t produce any hit records or mainstream superstars in its time, but it did unleash one of the most visceral movements in modern day music, and, from what this film has to show you, a non-stop thrill ride of bloody noses, guerrilla gigs and some seriously underappreciated and vital bands. Based on Steven Blush’s book of the same name, Rachman’s film captures the energy, ferocity and raw power of American punk rock — music that was bent on attacking the oppressive false society that the Reagan administration had imposed. Through tell-all interviews with the game’s key players, Rachman develops a narrative that is surprisingly fluent, establishing a motive, acknowledging the heroes and villains, exploring each of the scene’s national hotspots and performing the obligatory autopsy. Filled to the brim with some jaw-dropping, knee-slapping anecdotes, we learn how Henry Rollins joined Black Flag as a starry-eyed, gawking kid, how Minor Threat started some fad called "straight edge,” which would mushroom to incredible and often perverse heights, how DC’s Bad Brains were the most feared act to follow on stage because of their untouchable, electric presence, and how the term "hardcore” was conceived by Canadians (D.O.A.). Rachman knows how to keep even the most uneducated viewer entertained, thanks to his technique of zigzagging across a map of America covering all of the different geography involved, which works as a nice guide to establish an understanding between O.C., NYC and DC punk. Fans of the music will be grateful for American Hardcore, but there is enough within this doc to attract a much larger audience to prove how real the music was and maybe even find some new unlikely fans. (Rhino)