Written August 01, 2007
Caught one of the first public screenings of "Cleveland's Screaming," and there was still a bit of work to be done in terms of editing. What's obvious, though, is that director-producer Warner knows at least one segment of the region's early '80s punk scene, and very well. While he spends too much time dwelling on the Akron hardcore movement, Warner does build a coherant story arc that would engage even viewers not familiar with -- or interested in -- the city or its musical offspring. It's subtle, but the movie tells a larger story about the era's political and social state of disarray; one might expect that from a punk-rock documentary, but as seen through the eyes of Clevelanders, it's very different than when told by folks from D.C. or L.A. It does seem to me that the most influential -- and lasting -- Northeastern Ohio punk bands came either just prior to or after the time captured in "Cleveland's Screaming"; still, this is a terrific cultural snapshot.