SCREENINGS: The Decline of Western Civilization and I Don’t Know

SCREENINGS: The Decline of Western Civilization and I Don’t Know

2:30 PM  |  Mayer Theater  |  Register

Q&A with director Penelope Spheeris and Anna Spheeris Fox will follow.

The Decline of Western Civilization, directed by Penelope Spheeris

The Decline of Western Civilization

directed by Penelope Spheeris

Called "shrewd, engrossing" (The New York Times) and "as dynamic and engaging as it is revealing" (Los Angeles Times), Penelope Spheeris' The Decline Of Western Civilization is a riveting, unflinching and hard-core film which adeptly captures the spirit of a major cultural phenomenon. Including performances by X, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Germs and Alice Bag Band, it's at once "hilarious, mesmerizing and deeply disturbing" (The Philadelphia Daily News).

I Don’t Know (1970)

Black and white photo of two men, circa 1960
I Don't Know, directed by Penelope Spheeris

Preserved by the Academy Film Archive

A truly major work, I Don’t Know (1970) observes the relationship between a lesbian and a transgender man who prefers to identify somewhere in between male and female, in an expression of personal ambiguity suggested by the film’s title. This nonfiction film—an unusual, partly staged work of semi-verité—is the first of director Spheeris’ films to fully embrace what would become her characteristic documentary style: probing, intimate, uncompromising and deeply meaningful.

16mm, color, 20 min. Director: Penelope Spheeris.