Coming to theatres today, Friday, July 28:
TURN IT AROUND: THE STORY OF EAST BAY PUNK
SF DocFest 2017
An exhaustive chronicle of three decades of punk in California’s Bay Area.
Redford’s film is clearly both a love letter to and an attempt to cement the importance of the Northern California scene to the larger world of punk rock. Running at nearly three hours, however, it tests the patience of anyone who wasn’t already part of or at least aware of that scene. The filmmakers seem unwilling to leave anything out, making the whole film feel ultimately insider and leaving little room for the casual viewer to gain entry. In addition to telling the story of the undeniable breakout success from this world – Green Day, who executive produce here – Redford profiles seemingly every single super-obscure band that ever played at the scene’s hub, 924 Gilman. While this DIY, volunteer-run performance space is an intriguing subject, it gets drowned out in a parade of anecdotes about and appreciation for musicians very few people have ever heard of, yet which are spoken about here with a sense of universal familiarity. While there’s a selective audience who will still seek out this sprawling, punk tribute to the East Bay, some judicious trimming might open up the story to a broader curious viewership.