Review: ‘The Other F Word’

'The Other F Word' (Oscilloscope)
'The Other F Word' (Oscilloscope)

With a tone that wavers between surprise and sympathy, The Other F Word explores the world of punk rock musicians who have become fathers — and discovers that they’re pretty much like all other fathers. Shocker!

The documentary, directed by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins, is certainly engaging, and the interview subjects are gregarious, generally forthcoming, and frequently funny, acknowledging the contradictions in their lives that are obvious to outsiders. Yet it’s hard for me to shake the feeling that I was watching the pilot for a reality TV show. Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of The Osbournes.

Punk rock has its roots in the early 70s New York alternative art scene. It became political after New York bands like the Ramones toured England, where economic conditions and the predominance of bloated progressive rock groups inspired the Sex Pistols and a myriad other bands to create their own angry expression of nihilistic rebellion. Los Angeles had its own brand of punk rock by the late 70s, which quickly splintered into tinier sub-genres, which developed their own identities and either flourished or died.

The Other F Word picks up from that era in Southern California, as young men — many with abusive fathers and broken homes — came of age, found solace in a scene that encouraged aggressive expression, and formed their own bands. The “no future” punk rock ethos resonated with them, and influenced how their lived their lives. Unexpectedly, some of them have made a long-term career out of a high-energy scene that initially appeared to have a limited life-span. Of the men who survived into their 30s and 40s, a number now have children, and this is their story.

— From my review at Twitch.

‘The Other F Word’ opens today at the Texas Theatre.