The Filth and the Fury

The Sex Pistols; directed by Julien Temple

In the detached aftermath of the 1977 release of Never Mind the Bollocks … Here’s the Sex Pistols and its attendant socio-cultural dustup, the Sex Pistols phenomenon has been subjected to countless obfuscating interpretations: We’ve seen them re-theorized as neo-anarchist revolutionaries, as talentless nihilist goons, as money-grubbing puppets, and so on. Julien Temple’s The Filth and the Fury, though, has the guts to examine the Sex Pistols as a band, with revealing glimpses at their working-class childhoods and their formative years’ influence on their music. The Pistols themselves, in unguarded interview sessions, frequently come off as jaded and squabbling, but they all seem to agree on two things: that Malcolm McLaren and Nancy Spungen were both manipulative, greedy whores. Amen, boys, amen.