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She Pretended To Be a Punk Before You Pretended To Be a Punk 

Thursday, Jun 25 2009
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In director Penelope Spheeris' world, the line between the real and imaginary lives of L.A. punks has always been blurred. Following her first documentary, 1981's The Decline of Western Civilization, Spheeris returned to the subject with 1984's fictional, Roger Cormanםproduced Suburbia , about a bunch of runaway kids who squat in a run-down tract house in the 'burbs off the 605 Freeway. The cast features mostly nonactors, including baby-faced Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea, who walks around with a pet rat, which isn't so cute when he shoves it in his mouth. (Best line: "I think I'd like to fuck your brains out, but it doesn't look like you have any.") Add live performances by TSOL and the Vandals, and it doesn't get more punk rock. The movie is so awesomely bad, you'd wish your dad was a beater, or your mom a drunk, so you can run away, join a gang of ruffians, spray-paint your clothes, learn to blow snot, pick fights with guys in Trans-Ams and make trouble in clubs. (Best Flea line: "Do I need a stamp to get out of here too?") As part of the Los Angeles Greek Festival, Spheeris — yes, she's of Greek descent — screens the movie alongside members of the cast and crew.
Fri., June 26, 7 p.m., 2009
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Reach the writer at sbabayan@laweekly.com

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