Desolation Center

Director Stuart Swezey
United States / 93 min. / 2018 / English (VOSE)

The sensory adventures of the promoters who took the best post-punk and industrial music of the 80’s to the Mojave Desert and inspired festivals like Lollapalooza and Burning Man.

The harassment and demolition to which the Los Angeles police subjected the punk scene, and the desire to experience music in far-out spaces, pushed a group of fans to take the plunge and set up concerts in unique and remote locations, mainly in the Mojave Desert. For this handful of intense and anarchic evenings, they chartered school buses and enlisted the best of post-punk and the second industrial wave. In the same way that Fitzcarraldo insisted on staging an opera in the Amazon jungle, these guys took (with more success than the character created by Werner Herzog), folks like Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, Swans, Savage Republic, Redd Kross, Boyd Rice and Mark Pauline’s torpedo robots to the desert, and later, to cargo ports and industrial warehouses. That fleeting, ritualistic experience changed lives among an LSD-loaded crowd, including those of the creators of later, greater festivals like Lollapalooza and Burning Man.

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