Headpress Books Established 1991

No Focus

First complete and comprehensive guide to all classic, cult, underground, obscure and critically acclaimed films inspired by punk rock and street/youth subculture.


Out of stock

Punk has been analyzed as social phenomena as musical renaissance as youth subculture and even as an economic force. But never in relation to film. No Focus takes a journey through punk on celluloid, from The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle to Jubilee, from The Blank Generation to Ladies And Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains. Featured directors include Don Letts, Penelope Spheeris, Julian Temple, Amos Poe, Derek Jarman and Billy Childish — rogue visionaries who picked up a camera in response to punk.

Packed with new exclusive interviews with leading film directors, providing both technical and anecdotal insights. Also loads of rare punk photos, posters and pics throughout.

Subjects and themes in this book include:

  • The films that punk audiences watched, films that reflected punk attitudes, and punksploitation movies that saw studios trying to turn a quick buck from sneering subculture.
  • An exploration of punk as a wider social phenomenon with sections on the Sex Pistols, Crass and the Clash.
  • The roots of Punk Cinema in Buňuel and Surrealist films, Godard and French New Wave and Warhol.
  • Punk as a genre/anti-genre, in music and film.
  • The birth of music videos, and auteur status of directors like Derek Jarman, Alex Cox, Don Letts and Julian Temple.
  • US new wave movies featuring bands like Talking Heads, the development of Post Industrial and Euro-trash punk documentaries are explored.
  • Punk style is reviewed in horror/sci fi classics like Bladerunner, Mad Max 2, and zombie films.
  • Complete history of youth exploitation/street gang movies, looking beyond punk to its influence on films like Kids and Fight Club.

No Focus has contributions from Alice Banned, Chris Barber, Mark Hejnar, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Richard King, David McGillivray, Neil Palmer, Grant Pettitt, Jack Sargeant, Lance Sinclair and Stephen Thrower.

Chris Barber

CHRIS BARBER is a freelance author, editor and copywriter, and graduate in Philosophy with Film Studies. He was involved with various punk bands and underground filmmakers. As a journalist and reviewer he has written extensively on film, travel, true crime and alternative culture, for QX magazine, FilmFour, Eyeball, etc. Also contributed chapters to several books. He now lives between Barcelona and London.

Jack Sargeant

Besides being author of numerous articles, essays, and books on underground film, true crime, fringe cultures, strange behaviour and human folly, JACK SARGEANT has lectured widely on various subjects ranging from avant-garde cinema to bestiality. In addition he curates film festivals and art shows. Jack currently divides his time between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.


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