Originally titled with the much preferred Le Tigre: Who Took the Bomp, the video diary for the last Le Tigre tour is a bit of self-indulgent nostalgic fluff. But it’s good nostalgic fluff — and you should know how much I adore both of those things.
Beginning with a random home rocket kit test flight, Le Tigre: On Tour takes an irreverent look at the camaraderie and adventures of the team, and spends a lot of time fawning over the most masculine of the trio, JD Samson. Dykes will appreciate the attention paid to this mustachioed butch dreamboat who comes across as genuine, humble and sexy, even when she’s accepting champagne from adoring fans.
Of course, there’s plenty of charm to go around as Kathleen Hanna talks freely about her past in Bikini Kill and the riot grrl movement as well as the beginnings of Julie Ruin and Le Tigre. She also offers oft-told story of her penning the title to a famous Nirvana song, and electronic guru Joanna Fatemen is equally adorable as she bops around telling stories of her vitamin regimen and chattin’ it up with the girls.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the film is the simple documenting of live shows. Le Tigre has plenty to say in general, and much of it actually comes out in their lyrics. So even when they are wearing crazy costumes and giving a rockin’ a theatrically rich show, they always have a message. This is made apparent by the choice to display the lyrics at the bottom of the screen. So even if the sound quality is occasionally grating, the spirit and manifestos come through quite clear.
Le Tigre: On Tour is a DVD that every serious music enthusiast, feminist, and riot grrl has got to have on their shelves far into the future. We’re gonna show our kids.
You can see the film this weekend in Portland, Oregon at the nation’s only queer documentary film festival QDoc, at NewFest in New York City and more showings to be announced soon.