Trailer Watch: Beth B’s DOC NYC-Premiering Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over
Beth B’s Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over, her doc about the provocative and pummeling musician, writer, multi-media artist, social critic, No Wave pioneer and recent podcast host premieres Saturday night at DOC NYC, and the first trailer is online.
Voicing the unheard and seeing the unseen are themes that have run through my films with an eye to creating dialogue, community, and a place for self-knowledge and acceptance. My documentary films are social, political and personal investigations; home movies focusing on people I know or have come to know. Lydia Lunch was 19 and I was 23 when we met in the late ’70s New York music/film/art scene and brought our radical visions to the underground where we broke boundaries, simultaneously shocking and enticing our audiences with our uncensored music and films. Fast forward to 2017, as I watched the ever brash and luminous Lydia Lunch performing with her extraordinary band, Retrovirus, I realized that I needed to make the definitive documentary about Lydia Lunch.
Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over blends an audio bed of provocative stories with archival footage of 1970s bands; photographs of the architectural landscape of New York City; interviews with Lydia Lunch and longtime Lunch collaborators; and contemporary on-stage performances by Lunch. The film is not only about Lunch, but about the scene that she helped spawn, continues to grow and influence, and the creative people who join her in creating a new vision of woman.
The style and fast pace of the film echoes the urgent, aggressive, non-apologetic attitude that Lunch inhabits and is also reflected in some of my other documentaries. Riveting low fi archival footage of Lunch’s spoken word performances create a historical foundation to drill deeply into her psyche as well as into our cultural stagnation regarding violence, sex and war. Interweaving raw personal vérité footage with classically composed interviews offers insights into the emotional and psychological disturbance that drives Lydia Lunch. She is a complex character — a controversial, willful and dramatic outsider artist.
Along with interviews with Lunch, the doc contains interviews with Thurston Moore, Kembra Pfahler, Jim Sclavunos, Donita Sparks and Nicolas Jaar, among others.
Copresented by Films Fatales, the doc screens Saturday, November 9 at 7:05 PM at the IFC Center.