Centrefold: Wot, no Dylan?: Boys on film: the NME's punk film season at the NFT

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Whatever the NME's failings as a paper since the departure of its best editor, Danny Kelly, its selection of movies for the NFT's season 'Punk: Before and Beyond' is really cooking. The season covers the punk nucleus, and what it trashed and spawned. It doesn't waste time on what we know, either - there's no Stop Making Sense or Don't Look Back. And, thank God, no one sniffed out Dylan's 232-minute Renaldo and Clara. Inevitably, there are glaring omissions. Where are Rude Boy, The Kids Are Alright, Don Letts' seminal The Punk Rock Movie, Suede's Love & Poison or The Fall's Perverted by Language, a particularly abrasive punk footnote?

Despite this, the season remains an unequivocal success. DA Pennebaker's film of Dame David's last Zig-gig, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, is stitched of wild, rampaging romps through songs like Suffragette City and Width of a Circle. There's a taut, touching cover of Jacques Brel's My Death, and the spectacle of Bowie fellating the late Mick Ronson's guitar. Made up like a wedding cake, he's every inch the killer queen.

Equally grand are Ringo Starr's T-Rex movie Born to Boogie (right), REM's inspired Tourfilm and Ulli M Schuppel's The Road to God Knows Where, a document of life on the road with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It's a glum trudge, occasionally lightened by incongruous humour: Cave boogying to 'Papa Don't Preach', or the humiliating dismissal of an inept sound engineer. Blur's Star-Shaped is rife with accidental comedy too: see singer Damon pissing, puking, prancing and, most memorably of all, limping in agony to the climax of 'Day upon Day' after an amp falls on his foot. Ever the trooper, he completes his vocal and scurries off stage in tears. He'll be awaiting your sympathy and unquestioning adoration when the band appears for questions after the movie's screening this Friday.

Until 31 August, NFT, South Bank, SE1 (071-928 3232) Embankment/Waterloo tubes.

(Photograph omitted)

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