Directed by Acclaimed Documentary Filmmaker Don Letts
Documentary Features Interviews with Henry Rollins, Tommy Ramone, Chrissie Hynde, Jim Jarmusch, Jello Biafra and Others.
New York, NY, February 14, 2005 – Punk: Attitude, IFC's newest feature-length original documentary, is a look at the music, the performers, the attitude, and the distinctive look that was coined "punk rock." The film is directed by Don Letts, an acclaimed documentary filmmaker best known for directing The Clash's music videos in the 1970's and 80's. This is the latest addition to IFC's increasing slate of original programming for 2005, a commitment that represents the network's ongoing dedication to providing a voice to independent filmmakers. The documentary will premiere on Monday, July 4th during a special British Invasion film festival.
"The punk rock movement incited a do-it-yourself attitude that has influenced filmmakers and artists for decades," said Alison Palmer Bourke, IFC's Vice President of Original Programming. "This documentary is reflective of the IFC brand because it provides a voice for the independent filmmaking community on a subject that really appeals to our audience. Don Letts tells this story with a truly unique vision that is very 'punk rock'."
"I've always wanted to make this film where and how punk began and its explosion within the music industry," said Don Letts, director of Punk: Attitude. "We have defined where punk came from and what was left in its wake, how music history was changed forever after the original punk players left the music scene. We ask the question 'what is punk?' and learn its spirit lives on today."
Punk: Attitude examines how subculture and an anti-establishment aesthetic spread throughout the U.K. and U.S. in the mid 1970's, and the ways in which the movement influences today's mainstream artists and modern zeitgeist. Featuring interviews with Henry Rollins, Tommy Ramone, Jim Jarmusch, Legs McNeil, Chrissie Hynde, Thurston Moore, David Johansen, Jello Biafra, Mary Harron, and many others, Punk: Attitude also looks at how the punk movement incited young people to push the boundaries of fashion, graphics and design, and empowered them to express their individuality in an entirely new and energetic way. In the U.S., young musicians pioneered their own brand of punk rock in the legendary CBGB's, which became the resident home for punk bands Television, NY Dolls, Suicide, and the legendary Ramones. The NY punk scene was characterized by angry lyrics and a grungy, almost dirty, look that was born out of poverty more than it was out of fashion. At the same time, the U.K. was experiencing its own form of punk rock. London boutique owners Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood became synonymous with the punk youth movement. McClaren is best known for managing The Sex Pistols, whose short but explosive career incited a cultural revolution with offensive anti-government lyrics and frequently violent antics.
Punk: Attitude also looks at the lasting effects of the 1970's punk rock movement on today's music and culture. It influenced the role of women in punk rock, including artists such as Patti Smith and Deborah Harry, and in the 1980's and 1990's evolved into grunge rock – pioneered by Kurt Cobain's "Nirvana." Today, groups such as "Green Day," "Rancid" and "Offspring" are a direct descendant of punk rock and are examples of the unique cultural identity of the movement.
Punk: Attitude joins a line-up of prominent IFC documentaries, including Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, the first feature-length documentary from director Xan Cassavetes' and named by the National Board of Review as one of 2004's Top Five Documentaries; Wanderlust, created by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor); Slasher, John Landis' first documentary and screened at the SXSW film festival; and A Decade Under the Influence, co-directed by Richard LaGravenese and Ted Demme, nominated for a primetime Emmy for "Outstanding Nonfiction Special" in 2004, and honored with the National Board of Review's William K. Everson Award for Film History.
Punk: Attitude is directed by filmmaker Don Letts, who came to notoriety in the late 1970's as the U.K. DJ that single handedly turned a generation of punk rockers onto reggae. As a DJ at The Roxy nightclub, Don adopted the punk DIY ethic and began his first film "The Punk Rock Movie." It is the only documentary on the U.K. punk scene featuring The Sex Pistols, The Clash and many others. Letts embarked on a career directing music videos and in the mid 1980's formed the group Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones. He performed and co-wrote four albums with 'Dynamite' before leaving to form Screaming Target in the early 1990's. Letts has since directed and produced several documentaries and feature length films that explore the intersection of music and filmmaking, including "Westway To The World" – an in-depth look at The Clash, one of the most influential punk bands of the 1970's. The film garnered Letts a Grammy Award in 2003. Letts also directed the 90-minute feature film "Dancehall Queen." Shot on location in Jamaica, the film went on to be the longest running movie in Jamaica, breaking all box office records.
For IFC, Alison Palmer Bourke and Evan Shapiro served as Executive Producers and Susan Heimbinder served as Supervising Producer. Cactus Three, UK's 3DD and Fremantle Media executive produced the documentary;Metropolis Group produced.
About Cactus 3
Cactus 3 executive produces high-end documentary films and non-fiction programming. It offers a unique blend of production and co-production expertise, creatively developing projects as well as securing both funding and distribution. Recent productions include the acclaimed HBO series Family Bonds, Toronto Film festival stand-out Three of Hearts (NBC Bravo), and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, the award winning film based on Peter Biskind's best selling book.
Founded in 1994, and headquartered in the UK, 3DD Entertainment has made its mark as an established independent distribution company specializing in the sales and licensing of mainstream and eclectic music programming, high-quality entertainment documentaries and independent feature films. The company delivers star-driven programming to a worldwide television and video audience, working with such artists as Robbie Williams and David Beckham through to Woody Allen and Luciano Pavarotti.
About IFC Television
The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial free.
The Independent Film Channel is a part of IFC Companies, which has established itself as the future of independent film. With the television network, as well as a film distribution and production unit and a VOD service, IFC Companies has created over the course of the past decade a revolutionary end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent and maximizing the value of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC.