The rise and fall of the Sex Pistols. According to some they invented punk, while for others they were just an outrageous group of degenerates. The band became a socio-cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s; at a time when the country was shaken by extreme social and political tension, the Sex Pistols managed to transform it into music. Four working class kids with a unique and iconoclastic style that was fine-tuned by their manager and deus ex machina Malcolm McLaren. Twenty years after his first documentary on the Sex Pistols, The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle, Julien Temple retraces their story from the band members’ viewpoint using rare and unedited stock footage.
Julien Temple (London, UK, 1953) studied filmmaking at the National Film and Television School. He debuted with the short Sex Pistols Number 1 (1977), followed by the punk culture documentary The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle (1980). He directed several music videos, many feature films (including Absolute Beginners, 1986; and Earth Girls Are Easy, 1988), and music documentaries (such as The Filth and the Fury, 2000; and Glastonbury, 2006). He participated at the Torino Film Festival on multiple occasions, presenting the documentaries Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007), Oil City Confidential (2009), Requiem for Detroit? (2010), London - The Modern Babylon (2012), The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015). In 2014 he received the Gran Premio Torino.
Sex Pistols Number 1 (coregia/codirector John Tiberi, cm, doc., 1977), The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle (La grande truffa del rock’n’roll, 1980), Absolute Beginners (1986), Earth Girls Are Easy (Le ragazze della terra sono facili, 1988), Vigo (Vigo, passione per la vita, 1998), The Filth and the Fury (Sex Pistols - Oscenità e furore, doc., 2000), Glastonbury (doc., 2006), Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (Il futuro non è scritto - Joe Strummer, doc., 2007), Oil City Confidential (doc., 2009), Requiem for Detroit? (doc., 2010), London - The Modern Babylon (doc., 2012), Rio 50 Degrees (doc., 2014), The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (doc., 2015), My Life Story (doc., 2017).
“It was always a joint project between myself and the band, so I was aware of trying to convey, in my own way, their side of the story and their feelings. So I think that once that was established, I was quite free to do what I wanted, and I did. They never made me change anything, actually.”
John Lydon, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, Paul Cook, Sid Vicious, Malcolm McLaren
Anita Camarata, Amanda Temple