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Kill Your Idols


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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H30CHG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,295 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kill Your Idols" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus interviews and performances
  • Live clips
  • Photo galleries
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Featuring: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sonic Youth, Theoretical Girls, DNA, LIARS, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Gogol Bordello, flux information sciences, Lydia Lunch, Black Dice, Swans, A.R.E. Weapons, foetus and Glenn Branca.

Plot Outline: First-time filmmaker S.A. Crary shares a complex history of New York's art-punk scene. This compelling documentary weaves together a timeline for an aggressive movement allowing the players to reflect in the moment. With interviews from such punk rock icons as Teenage Jesus & the Jerks bassist Jim Sclavunos, bandmate Lydia Lunch, DNA's Arto Lindsay, Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth and others from the late '70s/early '80s art-punk explosion. Exclusive interviews with these originators and a new generation of practitioners -- from the Grammy-nominated Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Black Dice to Liars to Gogol Bordello -- reveals a consistent hunger for invention through subversion, motivations that come into cacophonous focus in the new and archival concert footage bridging the interviews. What also comes out is a depth of retrospection amongst the older generation that puts the younger generation's musings in a context that will surprise even the most plugged-in of scenesters. By documenting art-punk in the same spirit as the movement itself has played out, Crary has created a compelling reference for a movement that defies them and managed to stay true to its spirit in the process.

DVD Features:
· Over 60 mins of exclusive interviews and performances
· Additional live clips and music videos
· Photo galleries
· Weblinks
· Trailers

Review

"...most vital rock scene New York's had since Blondie, the Talking Heads and the Ramones hung out at CBGB." -- PAPER Magazine

"Far more compelling and entertaining than virtually any of this summer’s big budget blockbuster movies..." -- REELMOVIECRITIC.COM

Customer Reviews

There seems to be an interesting problem that exists with most music documentaries.
David Baum
The Foetus guy came off somewhat bitter too, preferring to listen to 60s soundtracks over newer music.
410
I'll make this short and sweet; the editiing in this film really ruins its credibility.
Madeline Hines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Maud Gonne on January 23, 2007
Format: DVD
Enigmatic and deliberately hypocritical, this is not a typical documentary film.

Taking cues more from video art than journalism, the film is structured thematically and is more complex than a linear historical survey. The editing cleverly compiles interviews with the originators of No Wave, newer bands, and Sonic Youth (the bridge between) into a sort of a dialogue of confession and criticism. The director doesn't conceal the fact that the cuts in editing pervert time, which appropriately comments on the medium of documentary film itself.

Shot in NY homes and streets rather than studios, Kill Your Idols meditates on the notion of nostalgia, time, scene, and music history. The film is unique for the ability to display the intentions of art through the musicians' view whether they sound dignified or not. It's clever and cocky and insightful. There are connections and contradictions. There are no pre-chewed short cuts. The film won't tell you what to think, but it will make you do so.

(The hour+ of special features on the DVD are very worth mentioning and include a lengthy, great featurette.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Baum on November 6, 2007
Format: DVD
There seems to be an interesting problem that exists with most music documentaries. While the subject matter may be admirable, and often worthy of closer examination, the sheer scope of material needed to be covered is usually so dense that the individual voices profiled are usually truncated into one or two clever sound bites. While this is an understandable restriction of time, it still leaves the viewer with what is essentially a mere sketch of the material reduced into a few colorful footnotes.

As an introductory expose to No Wave for the younger crowd this film does a decent job, but to the more long time fan's of the genre the brief glimpses of interviews with people like Alan Vega, and M.Gira may seem too fleeting.

To be fair S.A. Crary seems to realize this and the DVD comes with almost an hour of extended footage, but the problem really seems to be the nature of the subjects them selves. Ultimately Suicide, Lydia Lunch , and the Swans were all predicated on such remarkable stories that any one of them would make a remarkable 3 hour documentary all on their own. To be sure, M.Gira's anecdote of sending certain dna body fluids of his in a baggie to Robert Christgau after a particularly pejorative review is worth the price of the DVD alone. That being said, even with the additional footage I was still left with a desire for more exhaustive interviews with people like Lydia Lunch , while the cinema of transgression figures Nick Zedd and Richard Kern (an important part of no wave ) didn't even make an on screen appearance at all.Again, I don't feel this is a fault of S.A. Cary's, it's just that the scope of the project has so many facets that even 3 hours seems too restrictive. This brings the other issue - The profile of the contemporary groups performing music.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leslie H. on November 6, 2007
Format: DVD
(4.5 stars) Superficially about the ultra-obscure New York art-punk scene across the past three decades, this cleverly edited film is really a meditation on originality and nostalgia. Made by jack-of-all-trades director S.A. Crary (who directs, shoots, edits, and produces the film) and famously rumored to have been budgeted in the three-figure range, the film's a slickly edited and surprisingly gorgeous tribute to New York's vibrant musical community. From even the opening credits, Kill Your Idols has an attitude in step with the music scene it's surveying, its images and pacing offering a cool reflection of its subject matter. Like the bands it covers, Kill Your Idols is constantly experimenting with form and challenging audience expectations and documentary tradition. Crary splices together interviews so deftly and playfully that the different artists seem to continue each other's thoughts; he goes so far with this technique as to have them alternating words, particularly when listing occurs, etc.. It's a neat technique, one that engages the viewer and creates parallels across generations and geography. The result is not just a documentary ON an artistic movment, but an artistic statement itself--a tone poem to innovation and creative inheritance that serves up its brutal truth with wit and humor. The great success of Kill Your Idols is that it's not just another pre-scripted history of details you can easily source in Wikipedia entries--it's a mishievous commentary and sincere investigation into the notion of history itself. A small, but standout piece in the cluttered world of music documentaries.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SarahK66 on June 15, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This one is really good as documentaries go. I love the interviews especially Lydia Lunch just making fun of all the new kids in the New York music scene... thats the best part!!!
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Format: DVD
This is a highly personal and opinionated documentary that mostly focuses on art-punk/post-punk bands of the late 70s NYC scene, and some more modern bands influenced by them. It has some nice "lost" live footage of some of the original "No" wave bands such as DNA, Teenage Jesus, and the Contortions. Lydia Lunch is ridiculously smug in her interviews, dissing newer bands as poseurs, dissing L.A. as fashion oriented... Kind of hypocritical when you consider the degree to which she seemed to highlight her sex image moreso than her musicianship. Really, which you you listen to more these days, Teenage Jesus or the first Gun Club record from fashion conscious LA? The Foetus guy came off somewhat bitter too, preferring to listen to 60s soundtracks over newer music. Perhaps the film is saying more about getting older as a musician, but could have been a little more subtle in its heavy handed editing.

The no wave bands, at their best, sounded dangerous and outre. As several of the interviewees alluded, it was a vent for anger and emotion moreso than musicality - though there is nothing really that new about that, just their atonal clanging (to some degree). A cynic could say the no wavers were art school poseurs and you could look back to the 60's ESP record catalog for large doses of genuine lunacy. Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth) and the Gogol Bordello guy had the most illuminating comments and both of those bands can play their instruments, too. A little more on James Chance and the Contortions, and Mars would have been cool. More footage from Flux Information Society!

Check out the documentary Blank City, too, for a glimpse of the more cinematic goings on the the late 70s.
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