The Silver Screen Gets Punked
  • FRIDAY, APRIL 06, 2007

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So if a documentary on rock music is called a rockumentary, what do you call a documentary on punk music? Punkumentary? Docupunkery? We’re not really sure, but that’s not stopping two 22 year-old Aussie filmmakers from creating a feature-length documentary on the punk-rock explosion of the early ‘90s. One Nine Nine Four will be the first film from Robert Academy Films, an indie production company that opened shop in November 2006. The movie is scheduled a 2008 release, and will likely make its debut at a number of festivals before landing any sort of major-studio deal.

Despite the Academy’s young age, the two members (Jai Al-Attas and Matt Wardle) have managed to land interviews with some high-ranking punk rockers, including members of Rancid, Bad Religion, Goldfinger, Unwritten Law, The Offspring, Green Day, NOFX, and blink-182. They’ve also tracked down label personnel, tour managers, booking agents, and others involved in “the birth, growth and eventual tipping point of punk rock during 90's.” Skateboarder Tony Hawk will narrate. (Trivia: Hawk made his film debut in Gleaming the Cube, the 1989 flick featuring Christian Slater as a skateboarder out to avenge the death of his adopted brother, who just so happens to have been killed by the gangster father of said brother’s girlfriend. It’s awesome.)

So why are two kids from Australia making a movie based on a slew of tattooed SoCal rockers? Al-Attas gives the answer on his MySpace blog: he made it because no one else has. “I wanted to see a film on this particular scene,” he writes. “There are a lot of documentaries on punk but none of them have focused only on the 90's. I have no idea why? It was one of the - if not the most - successful periods in the history of punk rock! And please don't start a “what is punk” argument with me because it is irrelevant and you would be missing the point of the whole film and era.” Later, he adds “If people ask me how i envision the film i like to say kinda like Dogtown and Z Boys but with the bands in place of the skaters.”

Not capitalizing your I’s, Mr. Al-Attas? You’re so punk rock.



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