Llik Your Idols Angelique Bosio

In the grimiest corners of NYC in the '80s, punk started to become an almost free-form artistic movement. Characterized by the term "no wave," directors like Richard Kern, Richard Hell and Lydia Lunch made dirt-cheap short films full of sex, violence and general rebellion against whatever parameters of good taste existed then (this was the '80s, remember). They were generally Super-8 quasi-pornos and bile-filled tantrums against the traditional American way of life, often set to the punishing sounds of Swans, Foetus and other proto-industrial acts of the era. The films provide an appropriate setting for the music of the scene as well, with many of the musicians performing on the soundtracks also appearing in and/or directing the films. Rather than focusing on the music of the scene like similar no wave documentary Kill Your Idols did in 2004, the unfortunately titled Llik Your Idols is centred on this "Cinema of Transgression." French director Angelique Bosio, who has been compiling footage for the film since 2002, shows these filmmakers as comfortable with their work being labelled as pornographic — to be pornographic is to represent their artistic indulgence and disgust simultaneously, turning ideals of sexual roles on their heads. Thurston Moore still comes across as the genially laconic slacker he always has been, with wry commentary on the scene he helped create (and has been refining and reconstructing ever since with Sonic Youth). However, Lydia Lunch still comes across as a barely talented scene blowhard, appearing self-absorbed in her interviews, annoyingly abrasive in her work and strangely seductive in her films of the time. Like all punk-based movements though, these perpetual outsiders still band loosely together for the sake of stronger artistic freedom and expression. It's certainly something even the average Joe, once maligned in these films, would appreciate. (MVD)