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D.O.A.: A Right of Passage
Special Edition, 2-Disc Special Edition
DVD + Blu-ray
Frequently bought together
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D.O.A.: A RIGHT OF PASSAGE is the ground-breaking classic ''rockumentary'' about the origin of punk rock. Centered around the Sex Pistols 1978 tour of the United States which ended with the group breaking up, the tour was the only one the Pistols played in the United States. Director Lech Kowalski (East of Paradise) followed the band with handheld cameras through the clubs and bars of their seven-city U.S. tour. Mixing this with footage of other contemporary bands, trends in the fashion capitals and punks of all shapes and colors, Kowalski captured a grainy, stained snapshot of the punk movement at its peak (which includes the now famous footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in bed) along with rare interview and concert footage of the late seventies punk rock music scene. With live performances by the Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys, Generation X (with Billy Idol), The Rich Kids, the X-Ray Spex, and Sham 69, along with additional music from The Clash and Iggy Pop, this iconic documentary is now available for the first time ever on disc!
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
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That being said D.O.A. is a documentary about one of the biggest bands of the genre, the Sex Pistols, and there short tour of the US in 1978 that ended with the band breaking up. At least that’s what’s at the center of the film. In addition to that it takes a look at the entire punk rock scene. Interviews with various punks at the time as well as those who just didn’t think much of the scene are mingled in with performances by other top bands as well.
Among those bands are The Dead Boys, Generation X (with Billy Idol), The Rich Kids, the X-Ray Spex, and Sham 69. All feature that hard edged, fast played, guitar driven sound that is synonymous with punk rock as well as lyrics that display an anger towards the world. The fact that so few of these bands have found their way to film, video or discs makes this film one that punk rock fans will want to pick up.
While the movie is supposed to be about that ill-fated tour it jumped around far too much for me to enjoy. One moment we’re watching the band get ready to tour, then they’re performing, then we move on to a different band, then the interviews and then somewhere else. There is no cohesive timeframe being followed here. The film is more Cinéma vérité than straight documentary and that adds to the confusion for more mainstream viewers. It’s an observation rather than an attempt to tell the story of what happened.
One of the most notable things included in the film is an interview with Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in bed together. That piece has been used in numerous films about the couple. Its inclusion here, even though it took place after the band broke up, gives an insight into the band and the issues that drove them apart while at the same time not making note of the influence of Spungen towards that end. Interviews with the leader of the band Johnny Rotten aka John Lydon are nowhere to be seen here, perhaps because he wasn’t interested.
Fans of punk music will want to make sure that they include this disc in their collection. The amount of live performance footage by some of the biggest names in the genre makes that worth it in itself. But there is more for those fans to enjoy as well. Included in the extras are a 12 page booklet with liner notes written by John Holmstrom the founding editor of PUNK Magazine, “Dead On Arrival: The Punk Documentary That Almost Never Was” a feature length documentary about the making of the film, reversible artwork for the sleeve, a 2 sides poster, the original theatrical trailer, a limited edition retro “Video Store Style” slipcover for the first pressing of the disc and a rare Sex Pistols photo gallery.
If you love punk music then you’ll want to pick it up. If it’s not your thing you might find the film a curiosity at best. Of note is that this is the first film as part of MVD’s Rewind Collection, a series of films from the golden days of video stores with more to follow. It’s nice to see some recognition for those films as well as the businesses that were there in the past offering more than just mainstream movies for fans on their shelves. Here’s looking forward to the next release.