Category Archives: film

‘Double Dare Ya’: a documentary on riot grrrl in 2019

Effy Mitchell has just launched ‘Double Dare Ya’ on the world – the results of a documentary project interviewing bands and organisations that make up the UK’s current feminist punk/riot grrrl scene in 2019. It’s a brilliant piece of herstory capturing our scene right now.

LOUD WOMEN’s Cassie Fox was included (with a very sore throat at the time so she’s by far the most quiet woman in this!)

Interviewed bands / organisations :
Peach Club
Fresh Punks
Dream Nails
Penance stare
Witching waves
Cult Dreams
Lunar Sounds
Fig by four
Babe Punch
Farting suffragettes
Noise and the naive
Loud Women (Cassie Fox)
Sounds for the cause ( Rynn )
Bomb the twist records ( Sarah )
Girls rock Edinburgh ( Caro and Fiona )

Featured bands + organisations + other contributors:
Maid of ace
Against me!
Pussy liquor
I, Doris
Petrol Girls
Wet Brain Hooligans

Girl gang Leeds
Women in music Nottingham
Cramond island of punk
FYWROK festival

Archive footage –

Bikini kill
Huggy Bear
X Ray spex

Mather – a short film about drums and mums

‘Mather’ is a short film on Brighton post-punk Projector drummer, Demelza Mather. A film told through contrast: 16mm and digital, colour and black and white, drums and mums.

Demelza says:

“A good drummer friend of mine asked me if I’d like to be in a documentary, shot by a London based company called Eyes & Ears about myself and my life as a musician and a Mother. It involved coming up with a three minute drum solo, which was filmed in Brighton Electric studios and makes up a big part of the documentary. The whole process was daunting, challenging, exciting and ultimately incredibly rewarding. My son Felix is a constant inspiration for me, and has made we want to pursue my dreams more than ever despite being a full time Mum. So to have a document that captures this point in myself and my sons life feels very important and special.”

Catch Projector live in support of their new single, ‘Go Ahead’:

April 26th – The Rialto Theatre, Brighton (Single launch w/ Heirloom)
May 9th – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton (The Great Escape)
May 17th – The Waiting Room, London (Single launch w/ The Cosmics)
June 1st – The Monarch, London (Camden Rocks Festival)

Follow Projector on Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud

Stories From She Punks

44035739_2124979167751269_6834555404853182464_oGina Birch from The Raincoats and Helen Reddington from The Chefs premiere their documentary ‘Stories from She Punks’ this Saturday 10 November at the Genesis Cinema as part of the Doc’N Roll Film Festival.

If you’re in London and you’re not at GUTTFULL’s album launch at the Hope & Anchor on Saturday, this is the only place you should be – the documentary looks awesome.

Featuring members of the Adverts, The SlitsThe Au Pairs and Dolly Mixture, this is an important piece of punk herstory. A fascinating documentary built on new interviews with the women who played instruments in punk bands in the 1970s. In accounts laced with wit, honesty and insight, pioneering players including Gaye Black, Palmolive, Shanne Bradley, Jane Munro, Hester Smith and Rachel Bor, Ana Da Silva, as well as many others, we hear about acquiring instruments, learning to play, forming bands and getting gigs.

Stick around after the screening for a Q&A with she punks turned directors, Gina Birch and Helen Reddington.

In it’s 5th year, Doc’n Roll London 2018 will screen 28 music documentaries that spotlight the icons and rebels of Afghanistan, Wales, Ethiopia and Ukraine; tell the stories of the groundbreaking record labels Blue Note and Trojan; map the worlds of grindcore, blues, Detroit techno, “she-punks” and Kirtan mantras; and go behind the scenes with artists including Silvana, Sepultura, the Wedding Present, Chilly Gonzales, Badly Drawn Boy and Blondie’s Clem Burke.

Here To Be Heard: The Story Of The Slits – film review

Last night the provincial tour of Here To Be Heard: The Story of The Slits rolled into Derby for a showing at QUAD.

Told mainly from the viewpoint of bassist Tessa Pollitt, the film looks over her shoulder as she reminisces through a scrapbook of age-spotted newspaper cuttings and blurred photographs. Interspersed with interviews – including with Viv Albertine, Bruce Smith, Kate Korus, and later members Holly Cook and Anna Schulte – it evokes a loneliness, and the contrast of quiet reflection against the violent energy of the band brings a poignancy to the film which no amount of cloying nostalgia would have managed. This is very much a personal telling of a story of cultural importance to us all and it’s a credit to director William Badgley that he gets out of the way and let’s The Slits tell their story, their way with little interference.

From the beginnings of the band, rising from the squatter scene and the birth of punk it follows the tangle of relationships within the band and with the bands around them. It shows chaos in all its creative glory – individuals who found a way to be free within themselves because the fear of conforming to society’s tight ideals elicited more fear than being hated or failing ever did.

Musically it tracks how the band sped through a few early line-ups before hitting the magic combination and immediately getting out there and finding their way through doing rather than planning. From the controversy caused by their very presence, never mind behaviour, on the Clash‘s White Riot tour, through to the influence of reggae and dub on their sound, to the creation of iconic album Cut there should be no doubt of this band’s creative chops. Indeed, while subsequent album Return Of The Giant Slits may have afforded them less attention it too showed a band who were unafraid to move forward and explore – not for them the pigeonhole of punk, it just happened to be the scene in which they first appeared. This was a band who stayed true to themselves, while moving sound forward even after a long hiatus and a reformation in a very different line-up.

Culturally then this band embody the ethos of punk; destroying to create time and again. They blend genres, they don’t let technical ability hold them back, and they give a great big fuck you to any idea of how they should present themselves or behave because of their sex. The very nature of a girl group is subversive – the rejection of the idea of competition in favour of community – a bond which meant however vitriolic the energy between them it was always them against the world.

And this is the brilliant surprise of this imperfectly perfect film: the honest portrayal of female friendship on screen. No sugar-coated gentility here. Love is brutal – friendship no less so than the romantic kind – and this film didn’t shy from that. It showed the solidarity, and the separation, the rushes of joy and the crushes of grief. That the film was driven in no small part by Ari Up both before and after her death (in 2010 at the age of 48) shows not just the power of her as a person, but the positive impact she had on the lives around her. Again, credit here that her life and death were treated with dignity – no mythologising, just huge respect paid.

The story of The Slits is long overdue – a band vital to music; intrinsic to a period of our culture; inspiring, adventurous and creatively brave – they rightly deserve to be honoured and celebrated. They paved the way for female artists, and more fundamentally for women to have their own agency in creative expression and self-sovereignty in identity, and Here To Be Heard simply and honestly captures this and more.

If you missed the showing at QUAD you can see Here To Be Heard at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham on Thursday 19 April 2018, with Q&A hosted by Forever Records with a DJ set to follow.

Find Here To Be Heard:

Too Punk to be Queer – a guest blog by Siobhan Fahey

bolloxThe story of punk and the story of queer are tied so closely together.  Bollox, the UK’s biggest Queer Alt. Club night and Rebel Dykes, a film in production about punk dykes from 1980s, are coming together to celebrate the history of punk and queer at HOME in Manchester on Sunday afternoon, on February 25th called Too Punk to be Queer.

Lucy Robinson, Punk Professor from Sussex University suggests that the word Punk is from the Polari (a gay slang) and meant a young virgin homosexual.  Kath McDermott, who is on the panel discussion as part of the event, produced a brilliant BBC podcast, “Queer as Punk”.  This tells the story of how early punk took its inspiration from the queer world. The Bromley contingent, which included Siouxsie Sioux and Billy Idol, socialised in a lesbian bar in Soho. The Ranch on Dale Street in Manchester is often mentioned as the true home of Manchester punk.  It was beneath drag bar Foo Foo’s Palace and was connected to the Foo Foo’s by a door behind the bar.  The Ranch was host to bands like Buzzcocks, The Fall and The Distractions. Lesbian and gay bars offered a sort of security to young punks in the 70s and 80s, and punk was a subculture which was welcoming to young queers.

“Punk in its very essence is queer,” said Tali Clarke, a London-based filmmaker and creator of the Pride Punx float, which recently took part in London’s annual pride parade. “It’s no labels, open and accepting and very anti-homophobic and anti-racist. In its essence, LGBTQ culture strives to be accepted and commercialized in the mainstream consciousness. Punk rock and alternative culture wants the very opposite of that.”

At the Bollox and Rebel Dykes event,  Queen Zee & The Sasstones are giving a rare acoustic performance to welcome the audience into the Cinema.   Queen Zee describes their music as, “a hardcore band playing pop music, or maybe a pop band playing hardcore music – it’s somewhere between there. It’s essentially just a noisy, angry, very lame band”.

As part of the event, Bollox and Rebel Dykes are bringing to HOME in Manchester one of the first UK showings of a documentary film directed by Berlin-based filmmaker Yony Leyser.  “Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution” is a feature-length snapshot into the music and magazines that gave voice to LGBTQ outsiders — those who didn’t subscribe to the dominant gay scenes erupting in vogue dance or macho dress, for example.  The rejection of mainstream gay culture and the full-throttled embrace of an alternative to the fight for widespread acceptance are among the defining characteristics of a queer underground scene born in the 1980s with punk rock roots.

Leyser said that he was a freak, “I dressed different. I thought different. I was always rejected by society, and I also felt rejected by the gay community. I wanted to be an activist. I wanted to go to rock shows. I wanted to make art.”  “Queercore,” or “homocore,” was one of the gay punk movement that provided an answer.

While having grown up in Chicago nearly a decade after his documentary’s timeline starts, Leyser’s experience of social isolation mirrors that of his film’s protagonists, Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones, who in the 1980s were two twenty-somethings living in Toronto who liked rock music and embraced their queerness. But LaBruce, now a well-known filmmaker and provocateur, and Jones, one of the founders of the all-female, post-punk band Fifth Column, didn’t exactly identify with gay culture at the time, relating more to the anti-establishment call of the punk movement.

Leyser’s film is packed with archival footage and fresh interviews that educate his audience about queercore’s cultural significance. Southern California bands like Tribe 8 and Pansy Division, which would lay the groundwork to influence others like Green Day, Nirvana and Peaches, are among the groups featured in the film. These bands turned sexuality upside down, offering alternative representations to the mainstream, most noted today by transgender woman Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Against Me!.

“Rebel Dykes,” an upcoming documentary about punk lesbians in 1980s London. Siobhan Fahey, who is producing the film said, “I was a rebel dyke. I felt very excluded from mainstream society but also from the more mainstream lesbians who had, what we thought, were some problematic politics. They were very separatist and quite anti-men, and we just wanted to have a lot of fun, do drugs and have lots of sex and make music, which they seemed to disapprove of. So we created our own scene.”

Bollox and Rebel Dykes will be bringing together Kath McDermott,  and Susan O’Shea, who has written about Punk-Inspired Feminist Networks,  and Yony Leyser, to discuss the legacy and the future of queer punk music and subculture.

Love from Siobhan Fahey

Producer of documentary REBEL DYKES
Facebook RebelDykes
Twitter @RebelDykes
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guest blog: Everybody loves a lesbian

Guest blog by Siobhan Fahey

When a film is called ‘Rebel Dykes’ there is nobody whose neck doesn’t snap around to check out that logo. This documentary film cracks open the 1980’s underground dyke scene. Rebel Dykes is about the days when lesbians were fucking everywhere, when we were scrawling it on walls, abseiling into the house of Lords, running women only sex clubs, taking over live TV to change the laws of the land. If anyone wonders what fighting the Tories in the eighties, what punk, squatting and riots were like for dykes, this film creams it.

Producer and original Rebel Dyke, Siobhan Fahey, has brought together all the right people to bring this brew to the boil. With the genius debut co≠directing skills of Harri Sherridan and Sian Williams, together with the acute ears of Witney Bluzma on sound, this film is a paradigm shift away from anything else in the documentary film scene – this stuff is scandalous. A Rebel dyke herself, Ellyott Ben-Ezzer composed the soundtrack with Hannah McLennan Jones on design, making this film a queer family work of Art.

Want to know why you aren’t involved already? Well there is still time to get in on the crowdfunder which is offering perky little pleasers like the must have ‘T’ shirts, movie posters of the Rebels by Del Grace, postcards, festival screening invites and a meet the film stars dinner.

Upcoming are two events to launch the crowdfunder: one on March 12th as part of Wonder Woman festival will take place at the inspiring venue of Home in Manchester. The second on the weekend of March 18th –19th when the Rebels will swing into action as Brixton Dykes on the Rampage in collaboration with Queer tours of London, Kuntinuun and Drag Kings, Queens and InBetweens Festival.

As a piece of social history and political inspiration to future generations, this film is unparalleled, featuring archive original unseen footage from lost dyke bands and dyke sex clubs together with collections of images from zines, flyers and photographs. This culture inspired riot grrls and queercore as well as countless activists, feminist and queer transgressors. These were the types that pop stars like Madonna and Sinead O’Connor tried to look like, in a social network that spread out at it’s peak to almost a thousand women and that was before mobile phones, let alone social media. Watch them then and now as they tell how they came together, played and stayed queer family right up to the present day.

So if you want to be part of preserving the truth about what women really were doing in the 1980’s and stop the air brush of history from tidying the kick arse DIY girls away, if you want to be part of the project that sold out the biggest auditorium in the BFI at eleven quid a ticket just to see the twenty five minute work in progress cut, you need to get on board. This is going to be big: think about the film ‘Pride’ and triple it. Look out mainstream cos this time she’ll be coming with a woman when she cums.

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