December 17th, 2014 by Paul Curran
This month’s Maximum Rocknroll magazine features an interview with Des Devlin, the filmmaker behind the documentary Distorted: Reflections on Early Sydney Punk. Before you roll your eyes expecting yet another punk retrospective featuring career punk “spokesmen” telling you how cool everything was before you were around, give this film a look. Shown from the perspective of people involved in building a scene almost from scratch in the late ’70s, the documentary is subtle, sometimes slow-paced, but very moving and inspiring. This is not the story of a “cool” or legendary scene, but one that feels like it could have been anywhere (anywhere but London/New York/Los Angeles, that is) and could’ve taken place in any subsequent decade. Distorted presents a collage of different kinds of people who, for whatever reason, found a community in punk, and were compelled to create something to contribute the scene. The aspect of the film that might be the most inspirational is the way everyone in it, as well as the filmmaker himself, seems to have stuck with the punk ethos to varying degrees after all these years. They are people you’d like to hang out with and hear more from, not just about the old days but about art, politics and life in general.
There are many quotable pieces in Distorted, but we were especially chuffed with this portion — which happens to mention MRR founder Tim Yohannan — the story behind the title of the great Rocks EP, You’r So Boring…
The complete film, Distorted: Reflections on Early Sydney Punk, is available to download for free at distorteddocumentary.weebly.com. Read the in-depth interview with filmmaker Des Devlin in MRR #380.