Punk Slash! Musicals is the first book to deal extensively with punk narrative films, specifically British and American punk rock musicals produced from roughly 1978 to 1986. Films such as Jubilee, Breaking Glass, Times Square, Smithereens, Starstruck, and Sid and Nancy represent a convergence between independent, subversive cinema and formulaic classical Hollywood and pop musical genres.
Guiding this project is the concept of "slip-sync." Riffing on the commonplace lip-sync phenomenon, "slip-sync" refers to moments in the films when the punk performer "slips" out of sync with the performance spectacle, and sometimes the sound track itself, engendering a provocative moment of tension. This tension frequently serves to illustrate other thematic and narrative conflicts, central among these being the punk negotiation between authenticity and inauthenticity.
Laderman emphasizes the strong female lead performer at the center of most of these films, as well as each film's engagement with gender and race issues. Additionally, he situates his analyses in relation to the broader cultural and political context of the neo-conservatism and new electronic audio-visual technologies of the 1980s, showing how punk's revolution against the mainstream actually depends upon a certain ironic embrace of pop culture.
|Publisher:||University of Texas Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
DAVID LADERMAN is Professor of Film at the College of San Mateo in California. He is the author of Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie and was featured in the IFC documentary Wanderlust.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1. Let's Do the Time Warp: Welcome to the Punk Musical Film Cycle
- Chapter 2. Situating Slip-Sync: In/authenticity, Singin' in the Rain, A Hard Day's Night, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Blank Generation, Illusions, Nice Coloured Girls, Neocon 1980s
- Chapter 3. The Queen Is Dead: Jubilee
- Chapter 4. The Punk Meets the Godfather: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
- Chapter 5. Your Face Is a Mess: Breaking Glass
- Chapter 6. American Slip-Sync Remix: Blank Generation, Rock 'n' Roll High School, Out of the Blue, Smithereens, Liquid Sky
- Chapter 7. Talk of the Town: Times Square
- Chapter 8. Uh Huh Her: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
- Chapter 9. Now Entertain Us: Starstruck, Sid and Nancy, True Stories
- Postscript: Slip-Streaming
- Works Cited
What People are Saying About This
It is rare indeed to encounter such a lucid, entertaining, yet highly theoretical book that promises to say something new about punk. Punk Slash! Musicals updates the celebration of punk to present a nuanced reading of the punk musical's richly complex negotiations of the popular.
Bishnupriya Ghosh, Professor of English, University of California, Santa Barbara
David Laderman's sterling book is one of the most intelligent and creative contributions to the literature on the rock 'n 'roll film I have read. He surveys the cycle of punk musical films that ran from Derek Jarman's underground Jubilee (1978) to Alex Cox's Sid and Nancy (1986) through the optic of two wonderful original critical coinages: '(s)lip-sync' and 'in/authenticity.' These enable him to manage with great verve the interdependence of resistance and collusion that makes punk (along with rap) prototypical of popular culture in the era of late capital. Punk Slash! Musicals will be of major interest to scholars of both cinema and music, but it's so engagingly written, it deserves a wide popular reception. (David E. James, Professor, Critical Studies, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California)