Five Films That Got Punk Right (According to Actual Punk Bands)

Members of AJJ, The Coathangers, Night Birds, and Greys offer their two cents


    lights camera music final Five Films That Got Punk Right (According to Actual Punk Bands)Ever wonder which movies inspire your favorite bands or how filmmakers work with artists to compile your favorite soundtracks? Sound to Screen is a regular feature that explores where film and music intersect. This time, we asked punk bands which movies got punk right.

    In director Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, opening this week, four kids in a touring punk band find themselves in the midst of their worst nightmare. Coaxed by financial necessity into playing a skinhead bar in the middle of nowhere, they end up locked in the green room after the show with a dead body, an angry white supremacist, and zero chance of making a clean escape.

    (Read: A Conversation with Green Room’s Jeremy Saulnier)

    At least they have one thing going for them. “That green room looks nice!” exclaimed Sean Bonnette of AJJ (fka Andrew Jackson Jihad) after watching the trailer. “My main complaint about green rooms is there’s never any trash can, and I think I saw a trash can in that one. There might have even been a mini fridge.”


    Those extra amenities aren’t all that makes Green Room’s premise seem a bit far-fetched to actual touring punk bands. But those of us who have watched the film seem to have all come away with the same take: This movie gets punk right. Saulnier shows off his love for the scene in the little details, and it pays off with a film that’s all the more fun (and terrifying) because bands can recognize themselves in it.

    Green Room got us thinking about other films that capture the spirit of punk in ways that seem authentic, if not exactly real. So we asked the members of four touring punk bands — Bonnette, Stephanie Luke of The Coathangers, PJ Russo of Night Birds, and Shehzaad Jiwani of Greys — to tell us their favorite movies that “got punk right.” A few of their selections are kind of ridiculous, but that’s kind of the point. Or as Russo puts it, “Punks dress like idiots, so it’s going to look silly.”

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