Legendary director Penelope Spheeris is coming to The Frida!
In celebration of the new 2K restorations of her acclaimed documentary trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization, Penelope Spheeris will be joining us in person for two special double-feature screenings!
It all starts March 23rd with 1981’s The Decline of Western Civilization, followed by 1998’s The Decline of Western Civilization Part III! The original Decline of Western Civilization, which was selected for preservation in 2016 by the National Film Preservation Board, surveys the late-70`s/early-80`s Los Angeles punk scene. Including concert footage and interviews with bands such as X, Black Flag, Fear, Germs, Catholic Discipline, and Alice Bag Band, The Decline of Western Civilization was an immediate indie underground hit that is now recognized as a landmark of the documentary genre, and the definitive time capsule of the birth and explosion of L.A. punk.
Screening will be followed by 1998`s The Decline of Western Civilization Part III, which explores Los Angeles’ late-90’s “gutter punks” scene – homeless teenagers who preferred anarchy and chaos to organized society. Many of the film’s subjects come from abusive households, and had developed alcohol and drug problems as they lived on the streets, panhandled, squatted in abandoned apartment buildings, and fought off skinheads to survive. The film, which also includes performances by several notable Los Angeles punk bands, received awards at the Sundance and Chicago Underground Film Festivals.
Then join us Saturday, March 24 for a double-feature presentation of 1988’s The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, followed by a special and ultra-rare big screen presentation of Spheeris’ 1987 cult classic, Dudes! The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years covers the Los Angeles heavy metal scene from 1986 to 1988, featuring concert footage and interviews of legendary heavy metal and hard rock bands and artists such as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Megadeth, Motorhead, Ozzy Osbourne, and W.A.S.P.
Screening will be followed by 1987`s Dudes, featuring Jon Cryer and Daniel Roebuck as two city punks traveling across the country in a Volkswagen bug, embracing the western ethos while they seek revenge against a gang who killed their friend, enlisting the help of a young woman who runs a wrecking service along the way. Featuring supporting turns by musicians such as Flea and The Vandals.
Perhaps best known for directing the hit 1992 film Wayne’s World, Penelope Spheeris’ range of works – from music videos to underground cult films like Suburbia to Hollywood hits like The Little Rascals and Black Sheep – all share the commonality of being celebrations of youth culture, the marginalized, and the fabulous underdogs who find their crew and do it their way. After studying biological sciences in Orange County at UCI, Penelope majored in film and has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts from UCLA – earned while putting herself though school as a waitress at Denny’s and IHOP. We are honored to welcome this trailblazing and award-winning pioneer to The Frida Cinema.