Last night, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, and Melissa auf der Maur joined Patty Schemel at MoMA for the New York premiere of Hit So Hard. While the documentary is about Hole drummer Schemel’s career as a drummer — and ultimate descent into drug addiction that led to her being a homeless crack addict on the streets of L.A. — Courtney managed to steal the show.
Featuring never-before-seen home movies from Schemel’s own vast collection — backstage, on tour buses, in hotel rooms, and family time with Courtney, Kurt and Frances Bean, with whom Schemel use to live — interspersed with new interviews with members of Hole, Hit So Hard gives an intimate look at their successes and tragedies, along with anecdotes and insight into their creative process. (“Miss World” was recorded after Schemel and bassist Kristen Pfaff got into the sound engineer’s abundant crystal meth stash.) Plus, some cheesy video effects and interviews with musicians from bands like Luscious Jackson, Veruca Salt and other members of the Pacific Northwest rock scene really immerses the viewer in the ’90s.
But what’s most striking about the film is how much it actually mirrors the dynamic of Hole in a really visceral way. Despite this being Schemel’s film Courtney — who was credited throughout as Courtney Love Cobain — is clearly the star, cracking the audience up during her interview portions with her rapid-fire wit all while stuffing her face with shortbread cookies and talking with her mouth full. (At one point, Courtney speaks to why the early ’90s was such a great time for women in rock: “There was no competition, no rivals. Every day that Madonna wakes up a million people want to be her. Nobody wants to be me. That’s why it’s so awesome.”) Meanwhile, Schemel remains the drummer, keeping the pace of the film with her own gallows humor and harrowing story (which has a happy ending, BTW). Actually, everyone in the band has an acute sense of humor, which was kind of surprising because when you think of Hole, you think of a band that was plagued with death, addiction, and chaos, not a bunch of people who were having the time of their lives.
With Courtney nearly an hour late for the screening, director P. David Ebersol had a chance to speak to the audience, saying that prior to being interviewed for this documentary many of the members of Hole weren’t on speaking terms, but that’s changed through the process of making the film. Apparently, last night was one of the first times they’ve been in a room together in years. But during the Q&A session afterward, they quashed an rumors about a full-on reunion, with Courtney saying that she’s only interested in projects that “move forward, not back.”
This piece originally ran on Jezebel.com Republished with permission.