Finally, Oscilloscope Laboratories has released Le Tigre’s documentary, Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre On Tour! The film follows the iconic feminist electronic/punk band Le Tigre on their tour across four continents and ten countries for their last album, This Island. Being a huge fan, I already scored a copy of the DVD and feverishly watched it with my girlfriend. We were both hoping for something awesome and insightful and are happy to report that the film did not disappoint.
First off, when we got the DVD, I was impressed with the case itself. Made entirely of recycled cardboard instead of plastic, it has this really cool artwork featuring Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and JD Samson singing, dancing, and just generally having a blast in the moment. Then on the back cover there’s this really heartfelt synopsis by Director Matt Wolf. He writes:
“Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour is a celebration of a community that formed around Le Tigre, and an archive of feminist and queer music that should inspire fans to make their own and keep on living!”
And it’s true, Le Tigre was an inspiration to countless women, girls, and queers all over, and still are(!!), despite their breakup in 2005.
Directed by Kerthy Fix and shot by Carmine Covelli, the DVD really gives you a feel for what it was like for the band while on tour. You get to see pieces of what inspires them, their insecurities, and the obstacles they face. You see them having a ton of fun, but they also outline how grueling touring can be. And I have to say, before we watched it, neither of us had any idea that Kathleen Hanna is so damn funny! She is not one of those people who has a huge ego, despite the fact that she is pretty much idolized by fans (if you don’t know, she was the outspoken leader of feminist punk band Bikini Kill and a pioneer of the Riot Grrrl movement in the ’90s). She is silly and self-deprecating and vulnerable. When you listen to her speak, especially in the band commentary found in the “Special Features” section, you can appreciate how very introspective and thoughtful she is. It’s nice to know that someone so iconic has remained so down-to-earth.
There are also a ton of live performances, edited together from 20 shows from their 2004-2005 world tour, peppered throughout the documentary and in the extras. Le Tigre had these really unique live shows where they wore colorful outfits, did goofy choreographed dances together, and had their own artwork projected onto a big screen behind them. The intended purpose being that everyone there could just relax and have fun, free of pretension, and enjoy a show with meaning and politics that was a safe space for queers and women. Furthermore, all of their songs are both fun and intelligent. They make predominantly high-energy dance songs with witty lyrics that confront sexism and homophobia and are often political. With these powerful lyrics, they seek to inspire fans to make their own art and raise their own voices. In one scene, projected on the giant screen behind them, is one of my favorite quotes from the band,
“Behind the hysteria of male expertise, lies the magic world of our unmade art”.
Get their documentary. Watch it and smile. Then take the strength of their words and art, and get out there and do it yourself! Live your life in the style of tigres.
Get a copy of Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre On Tour HERE!
*And if you go on their Twitter page HERE, you can enter to win a free copy by tweeting @letigreworld with your favorite Le Tigre lyrics and their DVD order link!
Don’t miss a film screening near you!
06/07: New York, NY @ Maysles Cinema (Q&A w/ Johanna Fateman, Kathleen Hanna & Kerthy Fix to follow)
06/17: Salt Lake City, UT @ Damn These Heels Film Festival
06/18: Washington, DC @ Gold Leaf Studios
06/26: New York, NY @ Ace Hotel (Q&A w/ Johanna Fateman, Kathleen Hanna & Kerthy Fix to follow)
07/01: Davie, FL @ Geek Film Festival
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