SLC Punk!

Salt Lake City, 1985: a good place to get the hell out of. Or, if not, at least to dye your hair blue, beat up on rednecks, and proclaim your punkiness. 'America - well fuck America!' rails Stevo (Lillard) at the outset of this junior rebellion 'story'. Given that he's talking to the camera, and continues to do so for the bulk of this meandering nostalgia trip, it's curious how the movie feels as though it's hiding its intentions. It's a good hour in before we're done making introductions: Stevo describes his uptight buddy-in-arms Bob (Goorjian), and acid casualty Sean (Sawa), and dissertates on the hypocrises of parents, poseurs and American advocates of English punk, before moving to a party where we're asked to meet countless further friends and peers. The flavour of autobiography permeates the proceedings, and it becomes clear at least five minutes from the end that this is a rites of passage movie, small and sweetly inconsequential. Merendino, a SLC native, films this all with a jumped-up, excitable and slightly amateurish style presumably aiming to represent the energised punk aesthetic. There's sufficient evidence of talent and intelligence, however, to promise brighter things to come.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Merendino
Screenwriter: James Merendino
Cast: Matthew Lillard
Michael Goorjian
Annabeth Gish
Jennifer Lien
Chris McDonald
Devon Sawa
Jason Segal
James Duval
Summer Phoenix
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