The Other F Word Andrea Blaugrund Nevins

The Other F Word Andrea Blaugrund Nevins
The late great rock critic Lester Bangs once scorned rock music for being trapped in youth culture – that it's laughable for an ageing rocker to act young in a young man's game. In the same spirit, this documentary asks, can you be a punk and middle-aged? It's a good question and Nevins' film nicely explores the contradictions that punk dads have to grapple with, focusing on Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, Rise Against's Tim McIlrath and particularly Jim Lindberg, of the skate punk band Pennywise. They all started as angry young men with instruments, sleeping on floors, shooting drugs and screaming on stage. Today, they live in suburban houses, pay PTA dues, change diapers and walk their little ones to school. Punk extends your adolescence, but what happens when you have to grow up and take care of your babies? "You wake up a lot easier," says one proud papa. You also have to put bread on the table, which means touring the globe and seeing your family once or twice a year, a hard sacrifice. And you have to watch your language, not only from your lips, but in your music. "It never dawned on me," says Hoppus, "that one day I'd have to buy the clean version of my album to play in the car." The irony is that these punks once rebelled against a system they now embrace and have become the fathers they once despised. Let's face it, how long can someone listen to and enjoy Pennywise's Jim Lindberg sing "Fuck Authority" with a straight face when he has a mortgage to pay? Lindberg answers this question for himself in this film, and his honest soul-searching makes him the most appealing character. Nevins succeeds in exposing the contradictions and hypocrisy of rockers growing bald and fat. This is an honest film, albeit long. At times, the movie loses direction, as it lacks a single overriding crisis to propel the film forward and unite all its disparate threads. Suppose their kids rebelled against them? I wish that was captured here. That said, The Other F Word is a serious cut above the typical rock doc and deserves a look. (Mongrel Media)