A documentary about John Lydon, the frontman of Public Image Ltd. and former Sex Pistols frontman, will be getting a wide release next month. The Public Image Is Rotten tells how the singer picked himself up after the dissolution of the Pistols and formed the post-punk band he refers to now as PiL. First-time director Tabbert Fiiller helmed the film featuring commentary by Flea, Ad-Rock, Ginger Baker and Thurston Moore, among others, alongside interviews with Lydon and archival footage.
“I didn’t want to have a bunch of famous musicians telling how much they’re influenced by PiL; that would’ve been a long list, so I narrowed it down to people that have been influenced by PiL but also have had a connection to PiL and had stories to tell,” Fiiller said in a statement. “I also wanted a variety of musicians that would show how PiL’s influence has carried over into many types of music.”
The 103-minute doc, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, will hit U.S. cinemas in the fall. It will open at London’s Odeon Camden Cinema on June 3rd and will include a post-screening conversation with Lydon. More screenings will be announced for the U.K. to correspond with PiL’s current tour. The film company Abramorama is handling the theatrical release.
In a 2015 interview, Rolling Stone asked Lydon what he hoped to accomplish with PiL when he formed the group. “I wanted to get away from attacking institutions, which was basically the job I allotted for myself when I joined the Pistols, and I just wanted to experiment inside my own head,” he said. “You can’t change the world if you don’t change yourself first. So that was the ambition of it all. Very utopian in many ways but that’s basically how PiL works.”