Synopses & Reviews
Punk Slash Musicals is the first book to deal extensively with punk narrative films, specifically British and American punk rock musicals produced from roughly 1978 to 1986. Films such as Jubilee, Breaking Glass, Times Square, Smithereens, Starstruck, and Sid and Nancy represent a convergence between independent, subversive cinema and formulaic classical Hollywood and pop musical genres.
Guiding this project is the concept of slip-sync. Riffing on the commonplace lip-sync phenomenon, slip-sync refers to moments in the films when the punk performer slips out of sync with the performance spectacle, and sometimes the sound track itself, engendering a provocative moment of tension. This tension frequently serves to illustrate other thematic and narrative conflicts, central among these being the punk negotiation between authenticity and inauthenticity.
Laderman emphasizes the strong female lead performer at the center of most of these films, as well as each film's engagement with gender and race issues. Additionally, he situates his analyses in relation to the broader cultural and political context of the neo-conservatism and new electronic audio-visual technologies of the 1980s, showing how punk's revolution against the mainstream actually depends upon a certain ironic embrace of pop culture.