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You're beautiful 

One sign of an excellent festival program is when you see entirely different crowds at various films. At last night's nearly sold-out screening of American Hardcore, the architectural eyeglass frames (do all film people shop at the same store?) were replaced with shaved heads and studded leather jackets. Programmer Lee Anne Gillan thanked the crowd for proving her right--apparently she fought hard to get the film included. Her facial expression also predicted the response that the evening's sponsor, C100, would get in this crowd too, as everyone sang along to the radio station's cheesy promo featuring James Blunt. Classic.It's a good thing that the theatre was filled with fans: American Hardcore is a documentary made by a fan for fans of the early 1980s hardcore punk scene. Based on a book by Steve Blush, the film relies on old footage and an astonishing number of interviews from tattoo-sleeved peeps like Henry Rollins, Joey Shithead, Ian MacKaye and H.R. from Bad Brains. It's as fast, fun and obnoxious as the scene, which was basically a big "fuck you" to everything. My only issue with this film--and maybe this is just a leftover of a scene that never got as political as British punk (thanks Joe S.), even anti-Reaganism seemed like it was just the thing to do--was that it never really deconstructed the issues. Homophobia, racism, sexism and violence were all brought up during the interviews, and were then quickly dropped. No one was ever held accountable. But maybe that's the point--these were kids (well, now in their 40s), who were born doomed, cynical of a world driven by greed, mass-marketing and an asshole president. Hey, that sounds familiar!

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