Review: D.O.A. A Right of Passage
Blu-ray & DVD: D.O.A. (1980)
Love them or loathe them, the Sex Pistols had an undeniable impact on the music scene in the 1970’s, and one which still resonates today. D.O.A. A Right of Passage chronicles the rise and the fall of this UK punk rock band and focuses on their 1978 American tour, which lead to the implosion of the band and ultimately the death of Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon…both seen here in a cringeworthy interview where they are heavily under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and (Sid especially) can barely string 2 coherent words together.
Short performance clips and interviews with Generation X, Sham 69, X Ray Spex, and Terry from Terry and the Idiots (culminating in an embarrassing band performance at a local pub) help to flesh out the influence that the Sex Pistols were having at the time.
D.O.A. also holds a mirror up to society and the ‘youth movement’ that was rebelling (once again) against ‘the man’ and the establishment…all encouraged by the Sex Pistols with such songs as ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ and ‘God Save the Queen’.
Made on a virtually zero budget, director Lech Kowalski does a great job of not only capturing the intense energy at a Sex Pistols gig, but also the emotions of both fans of the band (and the punk movement in general) and the ‘norms’ who found the whole thing rather ‘ghastly’.
As someone who grew up listening to 1970’s classic rock and 1980’s ‘hair metal’, punk music has never been of any interest to me. However, much like The Parkinsons: A Long Way To Nowhere, you don’t need to be a fan of the music to be completely engaged in the events onscreen.
D.O.A. is a high energy documentary that gives a snapshot of what it was like to be living the punk dream back then, with no regard for anything but having a good time and sticking it to the man.
Great viewing not only for people who lived through it all, but also for younger generations to see that rebellion against the established norms are indeed circular (and that artists didn’t give a damn about not being able to sing in tune or the way that they looked…unlike a lot of today’s auto-tuned, plastic faced ‘stars’…old man rant over).
- Dead on Arrival: The Punk Documentary That Almost Never Was: feature length documentary produced by Richard Schenkman and featuring exclsuvie new interviews with Punk magazine founder and Ramones cover-artist John Holmstrom, co-director & music journalist Chris Salewicz, photographer Roberta Bayley, Sex Pistols’ historian Mick O’Shea, former Rich Kid guitarist Midge Ure and original D.O.A. crew members David King, Mary Killen, Rufus Standefer plus never-before-seen interview footage with Malcolm McLaren
- O.A. – A Punk Post Mortem – A brand-new exclusive interview with co-director and music journalist Chris Salewicz
- Includes both Blu-ray and DVD versions
- Limited Edition booklet written by Tim Murray with additional article by Phelim O’Neill
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