Reviews Circle Jerks My Career As A Jerk

Circle Jerks

My Career As A Jerk


I must admit, before I sat down to watch this I wasn't exactly excited to listen to Circle Jerks vocalist Keith Morris talk about punk rock for the millionth time. Morris, like Jack Grisham (TSOL), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), and to some extent Duane Peters (US Bombs) seems to be a constant presence running throughout any number of the ubiquitous punk docu-films of the last 20 years or so. That being said, I was very curious about some of the band footage. And that’s really the best part of this film. There is tons of live Circle Jerks footage from all eras of the band’s career. And as far as the band’s story goes, the film is very comprehensive overall. Morris kind of comes off like a prick as the film wears on, which isn't a total surprise, but it still kind of makes his later parts tough to watch. What’s kind of curious though—even heartrending—and pretty much hard to ignore, as it’s the biggest take-away from the film, is that it's ultimately about the dissolution of friendship; especially of that between guitarist Greg Hetson and Morris. The sadness in Hetson’s voice when he talks about finally having to call it a day on his friendship with Morris after years of mistreatment and chemical abuse is really fucking depressing actually. Director Dave Markey derves credit for capturing the human element once again, as he has done in past films like 1991: The Year Punk Broke and Dinosaur Jr. - Bug Live At 9:30 Club. My favorite quote of the movie is from bassist Zander Schloss, who when talking about the final nail in the Circle Jerks’ coffin (for now, anyway) says, “He (Morris) was supposed to be writing a Circle Jerks album and he went and made a fucking OFF! record!” Like all of these Behind The Music-type punk docs, My Career as a Jerk is kind of a sad story. But It’s worth a viewing to hear the story straight from the band’s mouth and definitely worth it to see all the awesome live footage.

6.0 / 10Nathan G. O'Brien
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2012

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