Directed by P. David Ebersole
2011 | USA | 103 min. | Not Rated
Tracing the ups and downs of drummer Patty Schemel, this documentary uses interviews filmed over a number of years and intimate home movies to forge a portrait of a woman—and a band—constantly on the edge of collapse.
As the band began to explode professionally, Schemel began to implode personally. The alternative music scene of the 1990s, particularly the Seattle scene, was rife with talent and pain. Drug use was the rule, not the exception. Volatile behavior and relationships were the norm. Seattle was never the same after the death of Kurt Cobain, and it’s easy to see why Schemel, enmeshed in a deep friendship with Cobain and a band-ship with Love, could barely survive. Ruthlessly unglamorous, Hit So Hard doesn’t back down on the tough stuff, and there’s more than enough to cover here.
Although Schemel was the backbone of the band, both sonically and emotionally, she faced a number of personal and professional demons during her tenure with Hole—from issues with her sexuality, to lifelong problems with alcohol and drugs, to the rigors of being part of a touring band.
Hit So Hard leans on the stories of people that surrounded Patty, including the other members of Hole: Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, and Melissa Auf der Mar. Along with Roddy Bottum from Faith No More, Luscious Jackson’s Kate Schellenbach, and photographer Joe Mama-Nitzberg, to name a few. – Levi Elder
Official Selection: SXSW, New Directors/New Films, Seattle International Film Festival, Framline35, OutFest