…and the quest to see everything

Worst. Hot Docs Coverage. Ever.

ph. hotdocs.ca

I didn’t get to see a lot of movies from Hot Docs this year because of scheduling conflicts and other cluster fucks. This is not a personal blog so I’ll just go right ahead and talk about the whopping two movies that I did see as a plebe.

There are many similarities between Who Took the Bomp – Le Tigre on Tour and The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. They’re both a part of the late night screenings this year, both about experimental musicians who do need to be properly introduced to the viewing public who may not know about the genres and the musicians, both refuse to be elegies by showing their own brand of quasi-hipster happiness.

The first scenes of Bomp are shaky, not knowing the balance between performed amateurism and the band taking themselves seriously enough, but these  aspects of Le Tigre’s mission statement eventually merge. It’s like a Hello Kitty doll giving the finger, the film punctuated by the band performing its danceable tunes about feminism, LGBT visibility, etc. It seamlessly weaves through its characters equally showcasing each band member so it’s not just about lead vocalist/guitarist Kathleen Hanna, who has her long provenance. It’s also about the fans, like one who is memorably touched by Hanna’s kind words. 4/5. I should have given it a 3.

Ballad, however, is a film version of a shrine, showing home videos of a dominatrix/artist/musician Lady Jaye accompanied by voice-overs of her pandrogynous husband, industrial musician/artist Genesis P-Orridge. The dreamlike Lady Jaye can’t speak for herself, in her part within their strangest of couplings – they decided to undergo plastic surgery to look more like each other. But her image and Genesis’ voice is enough to make us feel the happiness of a person who finds his true love while on an impressionistic journey in finding his true self. 4/5.

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3 responses

  1. The best part about Hot Docs? the do it every year!
    Speaking as someone who had to really bite a bullet and sit out TIFF two festivals back, believe me – missing one year ain’t the end of the world.

    great pieces good sir, those were films I missed and now I’m sorta wishing I hadn’t!

    May 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  2. I hope those clusterfucks have disappeared.

    ..I really should see more documentaries.

    May 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

  3. Thanks for the support Mad Hatter and Andrew. The clusterfucks haven’t disappeared but I’m working forward for them to.

    It’s strange how I saw all of the Oscar nominated documentaries last year and I might not do so this year.

    This is shaky ground, and this is NOT the reason why I missed out on a lot of documentaries, but I have to admit about the prejudices I have against the genre, that I prefer to see Kate Winslet cry in a movie instead of a real person crying in a doc, or that by logic, there’s more craftsmanship in fiction because it IS made-up. But last year’s docs change the form of telling the truth and so did these two.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

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