Pansy Division: Life In A Gay Rock Band
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Pansy Division: Life In A Gay Rock Band

USA, 2007, 84 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biography / History, Documentary, Gay, Music / Music Video
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Michael Carmona

“The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.” As quoted by George Bernard Shaw at the start of this rockin’ doc, it’s an apt sentiment for the queer punk rockers of Pansy Division.
In the early 1990s, founder and front man Jon Ginoli and bassist Chris Freeman took up their instruments as a battle cry against the dance music that dominated the gay scene. Ginoli started the band as a way to deal with his own alienation, which, like many of us, didn’t disappear upon arrival in Oz. And the moment for a queer punk band couldn’t have been more timely; San Francisco was just waking from the previous decade’s losses, and the in-your-face direct actions by ACT UP and Queer Nation shared punk music’s DIY ethos.
Director Michael Carmona chronicles the band’s role as a pioneer in the queercore movement, from humble gigs in gay dive bars to singing their homo-anthems to thousands of screaming teens on a national tour with Green Day. Along the way the band attempts to find a permanent drummer and struggles to gain exposure (gays want their MTV too) without watering down their message.
The film also plays like a time capsule of another era, so put on your Doc Martens and your cut-off jeans, slap some DayGlo stickers on your nipples, and rock out with these “buttfuckers of rock ’n’ roll”! — DENNIS CONROY



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