The Other F Word [DVD]
Record Label: Rare Bird Films
Release Date: 2011
The punk rock music scene embodies the "live fast, die young" mentality. But what happens to the musicians who didn't take that phrase literally and instead opted to settle down (a relative term, of course) and start a family? That's exactly what director Andrea Blaugrund, with the help of a slew of punk greats and executive producer Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), set out to find in her documentary, The Other F Word.
Many of the old school punks came from broken homes. Rebelling against society, they were forced to find a sense of belonging elsewhere. That solace came in the form of punk rock. Now parents themselves, they have effectively becoming a part of the system they spent their youths fighting against. In many cases, overcoming these adversities only made them want to be better parents to their own children.
The film's warp-around narrative follows the tumultuous life of Pennywise vocalist Jim Lindberg. Two decades of fronting the legendary California punk band have taken their toll on Lindberg. He spends the majority of the year touring, meaning that he has to leave his wife and three young daughters behind. While he always looks forward to returning home to his family and not missing important moments in their lives, his bandmates are just as eager to stay on the road. This internal struggle ultimately leads to Lindberg leaving the band.
There's an interesting juxtaposition between Lindberg's presence on stage, where he sings songs like "Fuck Authority," and his home life, where he has to be the authority figure he once hated. These days, Lindberg dyes his hair to appear younger and always sports a baseball hat to hide his receding hairline.
It's fascinating to see these iconic punk rockers out of their element. The documentary shows a number eye-opening scenes that you never thought you'd see, such as Fat Mike of NOFX dropping his daughter off at a private school, Tony Cadena of the Adolescents planting a garden, Art Alexakis of Everclear singing "The Wheels on the Bus" and Lars Frederiksen of Rancid on a public playground (while wearing a shirt that says I Hate People).
Other subjects featured include Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion, Ron Reyes of Black Flag, Tim McIlrath of Rise Against, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, Warped Tour mastermind Kevin Lyman and more. Perhaps the most amusing of all the interviewees is Blink 182's Mark Hoppus, who shares a happy-go-lucky attitude and a childlike sense of wonderment with his young son.
But it's not all fun and games. The documentary covers the entire spectrum of emotions, from laugh-out-loud moments to those that give you goosebumps. There are even a couple of heart-wrenching scenes, and a few of the subjects fight back tears in their interviews.
Any fan of punk music will appreciate The Other F Word, and it will speak volumes to dads - but it's really a fantastic documentary for people from all walks of life. It's not merely about fatherhood, but growing up in general. The result is a poignant, endearing and insightful film.