The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
May 28 - May 30, 2010
(Julien Temple, UK, 1980, 35mm, 103 min)
“To be bad is good. To be good is simply boring.” —Malcolm McLaren
The urge to self-mythologize is written into rock's DNA and in 1978 the Sex Pistols' story—who did what for whom, and why—was still up for grabs. The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle is manager Malcolm McLaren's attempt to write himself into history as the band's creator, manipulator and ideologue, and to steal back from the music industry what he felt it had stolen from rock 'n' roll. With the recent passing of McLaren, we thought it a fitting tribute to screen Julien Temple's bizarre and hilarious fictional documentary that charts the rise and fall of punk's most notorious band through the eyes of its calculating manager.
Mixing animation and live footage of some of The Pistols' most electrifying performances, the 1980 film presents the band's success as an elaborate scam perpetrated by McLaren to make "a million pounds" at the expense of record companies, outraged moralists, the British Royal Family, and even the fans and band members themselves.
Watch the Original 1980's trailer.