First wave on film: Ray Gange, Rude Boy and The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle
This article will explore The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle (Julien Temple) and Rude Boy (Jack Hazan and David Mingay) (both 1980), the two highest-profile films to emerge from and treat cinematically Britain’s first wave of punk rock. Featuring the Sex Pistols and the
Clash, respectively, each film attempts to tell its tale in an oppositional manner. Both do so, however, from within dominant industrial and discursive modes of practice. Taking as its keynote Stacy Thompson’s dialectical approach to punk cinema, the article considers these seemingly
irreconcilable positions by tracing implied cinematic traditions and questioning the role of the protagonist. It goes on to centre its attention on Rude Boy specifically, analysing the position of the fan as a key figure within the narrative. An in-depth interview with Ray Gange, the novice
actor/fan at the heart of the film, concludes the piece.