The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences earlier this month screened The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Penelope Spheeris' 1988 look at hair metal along the Sunset Strip. Tonight, see the documentaries that bookend the filmmaker's L.A. music trilogy: The Decline of Western Civilization and The Decline of Western Civilization Part III. Released in 1981, Part I follows early punk bands X, Black Flag, The Germs, Circle Jerks, Fear and Alice Bag Band; watching Darby Crash's shambolic performance, and the now – 60-something Lee Ving berate the crowd and get spat on, is worth the price of admission. Seven years later, Part III returns to the scene, focusing less on the music and more on the nihilistic, homeless gutter punks who live and perish on the streets (two of Spheeris' subjects died before the movie's 1998 release). If you like your punk with safety pins, scabies and cigarette burns, this is the place to be. Spheeris and Ving will appear in person after the screenings. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., April 18, 7:30 p.m & 9:40 p.m.; $5, $3 students. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
Fri., April 18, 7:30 p.m., 2014
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