Five More to Die For, Part One: Must-See Movies You Missed in 2011
Savlov's 2011 Top Ten expands by five
By Marc Savlov,
10:43AM, Fri. Jan. 6, 2012
The trouble with year-end top ten lists is obvious. There's always films that are inadvertently left out, slip from memory, or haven't yet made it to Austin screens (or Netflix etc.). Even with the Chronicle's excellent, multi-tiered, individual critic's lists, great films get overlooked. Thank goodness we've got a blog to rectify this situation
So here's an additional list of supercool, totally worthy 2011 movies that are, by now, either on DVD or available via the Web in one form or another. Most of them are smaller, indie films that definitely won't be playing at a theater near you (unless you live across the street from an Alamo Drafthouse, and even then ). All of them rock.
Torturous distro and viewability issues aside, I personally guarantee that every single one of the five following films will either blow you away, make you cry, make you cheer, make you ponder your not unlucky fate in a cruel, uncaring universe nonetheless filled with badass music and gifted filmmakers, or otherwise keep you superglued to your La-Z-Boy/Girl for the duration.
I've got a fair amount to say about these five, so we'll be breaking them down into one post/film a day over the next week to avoid huge blocks of text (like, um, this one).
Without further hyperbolic ado and in no particular order
The Other F Word
In a world crammed with crappy punk rock docs, Andrea Blaugrund Nevins has directed one that actually matters (and one which premiered at SXSW 2011). The "other F word" here is "fatherhood," a concept that's as new and startling (and often – ahem! – unexpected) to most of us who were old enough to catch the Germs at the Starwood or the Big Boys at Liberty Lunch as the idea of punk was in the first place.
Combining interviews with punk pops spanning the gamut from Art Alexakis of Everclear to Tony Adolescent and from Huntington Beach bad boy/TSOL frontman Jack Grisham to skatepunk icon Tony Hawk, The Other F Word is by turns joyful, knowing, depressing, ecstatic, and 100% punk fucking rock, dude.
Central to Nevin's doc, and the emotional core of the alternately insanely cute/ridiculously inappropriate goings on, is the quandary faced by longtime Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg, who struggles to balance world tours, practices, proms, and real-world parental responsibilities even as his hairline recedes, his audiences expand, and his devotion to his family begins to trump his devotion to his band. The irony that Pennywise have been "doing it for the kids" – the scene kids, that is – for close to a quarter century isn't lost on Lindberg, whose own kids are, touchingly, inevitably, a scene of their own, and one that he's less and less comfortable leaving for extended amounts of time.
It's not all goodbye tour-tears and hammered daddies calling collect from god-knows-where, though. The Other F Word works every bit as well as a raucous punk comedy of bad rad dad behavior and surreal, laugh-out-lout truisms, as when Rancid/Bastards guitarist Lars Fredericksen, clad in full bondage gear and sporting a leopard-spotted buzz cut, magically clears out a neighborhood playground via sheer punk style aesthetics.
"Sometimes you think about, you know, 'Oh, shit, should I have tattooed my forehead?'" Fredericksen muses. "But that lasts about two seconds. Because I am who I am, and hopefully I will instill in my son that you respect people on their merit, not on the way that they look."
Amen Oi! to that.