Published Oct 31, 2013Long-running punk crossover act the Mekons have been around for close to 40 years, so it's about time that they had their story chronicled with a documentary film. Thankfully, we now have Revenge of the Mekons, which will premiere on November 15 at DOC NYC.
The film was directed by Joe Angio, and it explores the British-bred band's development from first-wave punk act to country-leaning art collective. It includes interviews and original footage filmed between 2008 and 2012, along with archival materials.
According to press release, Revenge of the Mekons takes its name from the backlash that followed punk's explosion, when the band were apparently pushed to the fringes of the music world; the film explores how the band survived, evolved and established a cult following.
We also gain some insight into the members' personal lives, as we see the various musicians take on projects including creating a low-budget studio in Tajikistan, painting, hosting art exhibits, and more. Uniquely, this apparently culminates in the Mekons affirming their vows to one another in an eight-way pagan wedding ceremony.
Among the folks who appear in the film are Gang of Four's Andy Gill and Hugo Burnham, Portlandia funnyman Fred Armisen, the Hold Stead's Craig Finn, Will Oldham (a.k.a. Bonny "Prince" Billy), and others.
A synopsis reads, "Keeping a collective together for 37 years is difficult under any circumstances, more so when the endeavour won't even pay the bills and its eight members are scattered across six cities on three continents. Toss in a history of miserable fortune with record labels — fuelled in part by the band's own mistrust and rejection of the music industry — and almost comical bad luck, it's a wonder that the Mekons have persevered. How they've managed to do so — and why they bother to carry on — are the questions that drive the film."
After the DOC NYC premiere, the film will screen at the Cucalorus Film Festival on November 16 in Wilmington, NC, and at the Leeds International Film Festival on November 21.
Watch a trailer for the flick below. Learn more about it over at the film's website.
There's no word yet on when we can expect a wide release for Revenge of the Mekons.