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End of the Century: The Ramones

Director: M i chael Gramaglia, Jim Field

2003| Colour| 110 mins| USA


New York City was caught off-guard in 1974 by the angry scream of punk. Raw and unrestrained, it was a sharp contrast to the soothing banality of soft rock and disco. At the forefront of the scene were The Ramones as they ripped through three-chord songs about sniffing glue, the neighbourhood, teenage sex and angst. End of the Century: The Story of The Ramones is the chronic l e of a band whose influence reaches over two generations of musicians. They were kids who grew up together, a gang of misfits united through the belief in salvation and deliverance through the power of rock’n’roll. It was a rocky road for the pseudo-brothers: the success that always seemed around the corner continually faded in the distance, as they were robbed of the title of the originators of punk by the British bands they inspired. The film’s title refers to their 1980 album of the same name, produced by the infamous, gun-toting , hit song guru Phil Spector – an endeavour that strained the already tenuous relation between band members. Alcohol and substance abuse divided them further and poor record sales turned dreams of rock glory into gigging as a means of employment.
Filmmakers Michael Gramaglia and Jim Field’s passion is evident in this candid portrait of a band torn by power struggles and consequences of the lifestyle. Together with unseen live and studio footage, extensive interviews with the ex-bandmates, family, friends and figures from New York City’s punk scene, End of the Century not only documents an important chapter in music history, but also chronicles the bonds of child-hood friendship and their gradual breakdown .

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