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Monday, September 17, 2012

Hole Courtney Love Drummer Documentary Movie – Hit So Hard

Patti Schemel played drums for the Courtney Love fronted grunge band Hole. “Hit So Hard” is a documentary about Schemel’s rise to success as a pioneering female drummer and the struggles she had with that success.

 If you are a fan of Hole or grew up around the grunge rock-Kurt Cobain-Seattle scene you will really enjoy the never seen before footage of the band. This film takes you on-stage, backstage, in hotel rooms, on the tour bus and gives some insights to the unknown personalities in band largely overshadowed by singer Courtney Love.  I should mention too that the film does a nice job of remembering deceased bassist Kristen Pfaff. Pfaff’s death occurring largely in the shadow of Kurt Cobain (Love’s husband).

 If you are indifferent to the band Hole and you are a veteran of rockumentary-style films you aren’t really going to see anything you haven’t seen before. Patti Schemel spends her youth listening to records, experimenting with drugs and dedicating herself to playing the drums. She plays in a number of fledgling bands before her big break with Hole. Her addiction to drugs becomes epic, she loses her job in the band, she hits rock bottom, goes through multiple rehabs, makes a comeback, starts drumming again…… get the picture? 

With all due respect to Ms. Schemel’s very personal story, this film is like a million other rock and roll movies.  This P. David Ebersole directed documentary film is at times stylistic with use of split screen footage and animation but otherwise the footage is fairly bleak and grainy at times. Not a bad thing considering the dark subject matter but it could have used a little more zing. 

The characters are earnest and even likable but Ebersole could have tried to draw out a little more personality. Perhaps to his credit he just lets the camera do the work but this isn’t a particularly exciting group of people to watch. For those of you expecting salacious groupie moments within an almost-all-female-band there are none (perhaps to the films credit) and there isn’t much suspense to the story. 

Overall I think this story was a little long. It could have been told in about a half hour. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t the most inspired story I’ve seen. This felt like a rerun.

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