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A Swaggering Chunk of Pistols Punk

April 11, 1993|ROBERT HILBURN

"THE GREAT ROCK 'N' ROLL SWINDLE"

Sex Pistols

Warner Reprise Video

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This 1980 film would be an essential rock 'n' roll document even if it did nothing more than provide us with its classic concert footage of the Sex Pistols, the band that revitalized pop music in the '70s by reminding a near brain-dead rock world of the importance of irreverence and energy. But director Julian Temple--aided by the wry, subversive imagination of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren--has given us much more. Part documentary, part fantasy, part animation, part film noir , part expose, part cover-up, "Swindle," with its primitive, do-it-yourself swagger, is a brilliant summation of the spirit behind punk.

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