With the fear that shows with her electro-punk band Le Tigre would be captured only in people’s memories or on crappy video tape just like those she put on with Bikini Kill in the 90s, Kathleen Hanna enlisted the group’s lighting director Carmine Covelli to record both the performances and off-stage moments on the band’s year-long 2004 tour. The resulting footage, compiled by director Kerthy Fix, became the intimate and endlessly entertaining documentary Le Tigre: On Tour.
We were lucky enough to catch a screening of the hour-long film over the weekend, and were delighted to see it contains plenty of the choreographed, synth- and drum machine-heavy live shows that made up the 20-country tour in support of the album ‘This Island’. On top of that, though, is a refreshing look inside the intrinsically (and unapologetically) feminist focus of the band, its members and the music it creates. In between discussing gender politics in relation to keyboardist/vocalist JD Samson and the difficult decision to publish an ad in Jane magazine that goes against their values, the film offers a glimpse of the band’s more playful side as they tease oblivious interviewers and hustle Slipknot for a fan photo under the guise of fulfilling the wish of guitarist/vocalist Johanna Fateman‘s nonexistent little brother.
Released on DVD on June 7 via Oscilloscope Laboratories, the film is currently in the final stages of a worldwide festival run that has seen it play at New Fest 2010 and SXSW 2011. It will screen at MoMA on April 4 (before a Q&A with Kathleen, Johanna, Kerthy and Carmine), with subsequent festival screenings listed here. View the trailer here.