the films of suzanne naughton


click here for "mondo_punk"


click here for "afternoon with the viletones at new rose"
these two films, by toronto film-maker and photographer suzanne
naughton, are forgotten (or perhaps, as yet undiscovered) masterpieces
of the punk era, and are possibly more informative as to the specific
aesthetics of the first punkrock era than some of their more well known
contemporaries

the first film, "afternoon with the viletones at new rose", is a beautiful
filmed snapshot of a time and place, and gives much insight into the
actual physical and psychological environment of first generation punkrock.
shot at the store"new rose" in 1978, the film features steven leckie
(nazi dog), the photographer gail bryck, freddy pompeii, margarita
passion, an unidentified drug dealer, the legendary "tank" (the viletones
all purpose "bodyguard"), and a group of girls who steve identifies as
the "groupies".

the environment of "new rose", while serving as a kind of headquarters
for viletones activities, was the vision of margarita passion, and the presence
of the "groupies" only reflects that, in fact, it was our girlfriends that truly
negotiated the early aesthetic of punk rock, and that much of steven
leckie's own cultural insight was derived from his relationships with
women. it's signifigant, for example, that while nazi dog tries on clothes,
a teenage deirdre hanna goes through the record collection looking to
provide suitable soundtrack (there still would have been very few actual
"punk"recordings, at this point).

while the girls generally stay off camera here, they are definitely the
audience to whom steven is playing, and are actually dictating and invent-
ing the environment, including the director with her camera.

one of my ex-girlfriends appears here briefly in a couple of places. also, a girl
who confirmed for me the irony of the ramones... "hey little girl i wanna be
your boyfriend...
" she comically clutched her heart and swooned.

"ooohhh, it's soooo romantic!"

she is seen here, reflected like a ghost in the mirror. she went tragically
anorexic to the point where when i encountered her working in a store in 1979,
neither acknowledged acquaintance with the other... it was creepy to see it happen
to someone you know... you could see the bone through her skin that was kinda'
turning blue.

ennui, uncertainty, self-conciousness, boredom, violence, addiction,
youth, malaise, glamour, romance, self-invention... all the psychological
neuroses and conditions of the late 20th century are implied.... an afternoon
with the viletones.

blair richard martin