Daily updates from the first annual AFI DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Target, founding sponsor Victory Park, March 22 to April 1, 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Deep Ellum Sounds: Music of Misfits Strikes a Chord

X Susan Dynner's documentary, PUNK'S NOT DEAD (Screening Thursday, 3/29 at 7:15PM and Friday, 3/30 at 5:00PM) takes a considered look at a group of artists and their music who don’t necessarily encourage such scrutiny. Because of that, Punk is arguably the most misunderstood branch of the rock 'n' roll family tree. However, after receiving rare access to many of these bands and after providing even rarer insight, Dynner's film is already being endorsed by loyal fans as the go-to film documenting the evolution of Punk from its beginnings to the current state of things today.

Q: Did you enter into the project as a fan first or a documentarian first? Did that change at all during the course of compiling the interviews?

A: I started taking photos of punk bands in the early 80's so I was both a fan and a documentarian in the sense that I had compiled years and years of photos. I think the bands trusted me to tell their stories because they saw me as one of their peers rather than a journalist infiltrating their scene.

Q: What is the most common misconception about the Punk music movement?

A: That it's dead just because it's changed and evolved. It's still vital for those who have something to say and want to express themselves, and it's still new for the kids just getting into it.

Q: You connect the dots between eras in the film. What surprised you the most regarding the connections between the artists and their styles?

A: I don't know that it was really a surprise, but a lot of the pop-punk bands get a lot of crap for signing to majors. People tend to forget that bands like The Clash, The Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Damned, etc., were all on majors, and even bands like The UK Subs, Sham 69, etc were on Top of the Pops.

Q: Who would you single out as the unsung hero?

A: The bands who have carried on playing all these year (many for 30 years) and don't care about the money or fame. They do it because they love it and they've inspired generations of bands.

Q: Who do you think is poised to be the new standard bearer?

A: I don't think there is just one. There are loads of new bands coming up and hopefully a bunch of them will make a mark.

Q: If a punk band had to be "sponsored by," what company would be most acceptable?

A: I would say the most acceptable sponsor is one that's already a part of the scene and isn’t just a corporation who has no idea about punk, but thinks they can make a buck off it. Sponsors like Vans, AP Magazine, Hot Topic, etc, along with musical instrument sponsors make more sense.

Q: Who was your favorite interview in the film? Why?

A: That's a loaded question! Everyone gave me their time—many bands let me tour with them and/or invited me into their homes. Many bands were already good friends, so it was a lot of fun to interview them. I met tons of cool people and made a lot of new friends through interviewing the bands.

Q: What CDs did you buy because of the interviews?

A: I was given loads of great CDs so I didn’t have to buy a lot, but I did buy a lot of CDs that I already had on vinyl. The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, The Adverts, Sham 69. I bought a bunch of UK Subs CDs just to use for a sequence that we filmed for the movie (just the ones the band didn't have to give me). Oh - and I bought T.V. Smith's (from The Adverts) new solo CD. He's so talented!

Dynner will appear at both screenings of PUNK'S NOT DEAD.