Kill Your Idols
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Take a trip to a musical terrain where art and punk collide as filmmaker Scott Crary presents an illuminating look at New York City's short-lived no wave scene of the late 1970s and early '80s. A scene that birthed bands more concerned with challenging listeners rather than getting them out on the dance floor, no wave was an attempt by frustrated punk rockers to eschew such traditional concepts as influence and rhythm to birth something truly transgressive and original. Though the music of such no wavers as Suicide, Lydia Lunch, and Theoretical Girls would ultimately be deemed… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Kill Your Idols then takes a misguided swerve into the current downtown New York rock scene, so that it can spend more time preaching about the anarchy of the good old days than it does revealing them."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"S. A. Crary's music documentary examines New York's No Wave scene of the late 1970's an offshoot of punk, the anti-New Wave."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Discordant documentary on New York's "No Wave" art-punk music scene begins in fertile territory but squanders everything with a lengthy and ill-considered comparison to more recent bands."
‑ Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International
"Reminds you that for every Sonic Youth, there's a hundred bad New York bands that can't play their own instruments."
‑ Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net
"Ostensibly about the ultra-obscure New York art-punk scene of 1977-82, this cleverly edited film is really a meditation on originality and nostalgia."
‑ Dorian Lynskey, Empire Magazine
"The documentary enters more dubious territory when it tries to present today's more consumer-friendly post-punkers (like the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs) as some sort of successors."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Kill Your Idols pulls a few punches, tempering its respect for No Wave values like extremity and contentiousness with a more 2006 concern for not actually offending anyone in particular."
‑ Joshua Land, Village Voice
"The film is well done, capturing a brief, unimportant moment in musical history."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"The film's construction isn't groundbreaking but the shrill freakshow of talking heads is revealing, conveying how revolutionary spirits can spread their own form of oppressive bile."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"...an atonal love letter to a single corner of the culture - one built, in the words of singer Lydia Lunch, on 'beauty and truth and filth.'"
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"This is little more than a sketchy portrait of two fascinating cultural moments with only geography and 70-ish minutes of celluloid connecting them."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Crary takes the usual talking- heads- and- archival- footage approach, which isn't really a problem, though the film's whirlwind approach is."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"Written, photographed, produced, edited, and directed by 26-year-old visual artist S A Crary, Kill Your Idols enjoyably documents the so-called No Wave scene."
‑ Tom Dawson, BBC
More reviews for Kill Your Idols on Rotten Tomatoes