New review: Hit So Hard: the life and near-death story of Patty Schemel

HITSOHARD_DVD.jpgHit So Hard: the life and near-death story of Patty Schemel is a 2011 documentary by P. David Ebersole that tells a story of Hole, one of the most exciting female-lead rock bands of the 1990s. What is extraordinary about the film is that its protagonists is not Courtney Love Cobain, “the most controversial woman in rock history” according to Rolling Stone magazine, but Patty Schemel, who was Hole’s drummer between 1992 and 1998.

One of The F-Word’s music editors Cazz Blase is impressed both with the film’s departure from celebrity culture and its focus on a female drummer, a species existing normally on the far margins of rock’n’roll press. Reviewing the documentary for us, Cazz writes:

Celebrity Skin was released in 1998, by which point Hole had begun to be defined more and more by Courtney Love. To be fair to Love, this wasn’t necessarily her fault. Her acting career had taken off by 1998 and she was always a particularly flamboyant frontwoman. But Celebrity Skin marks the point where Hole became The Courtney Love Experience.

Many of those interviewed recognise this as an industry trend that could be witnessed with earlier female dominated or all-female bands. They point to the way that a spotlight was used to single out both Susanna Hoffs from the rest of The Bangles and Belinda Carlisle from the rest of the Go-Go’s and they see what happened to Love and to Hole in the late ’90s as being part of this continuum.”

Click here to read Cazz’s review and comment.

Hit So Hard is available on DVD by Peccadillo Pictures now.


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