Young Guns

Never mind the rumors; here's the Sex Pistols.

In The Filth and the Fury, the Sex Pistols have no fun.
In The Filth and the Fury, the Sex Pistols have no fun.

By the time they're blasting "No Fun" in San Francisco, at the end of their ruinous American tour, and Vicious is sucked into his ugly spiral with Spungen, it's clear that somehow, the ambition and verve of the young men have been eviscerated and exploited. A surprising poignancy hangs over the proceedings when the punk band falls away, the hyped-up distortions dissolve and the rockers are thrown like bodies from a jammed carnival ride. "The Pistols wasn't about destroying ourselves," Rotten/Lydon has commented since. "It was about destroying a situation that was destroying us." Emerging from Temple's trashy and soulful film, one ponders how close the antidote is to the poison -- and how tricky it can be to tell them apart.

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