The Fabulous Bikini Kill
Bikini Kill in conversation, followed by a screening of Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains
Thu 9 Mar 2023
Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail and Kathi Wilcox from iconic feminist punk band Bikini Kill will appear live in conversation, followed by a special screening of Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains (1982)
Hosted by film critic/historian and Cinemaniacs programmer Lee Gambin, the trio will discuss how formative films such as The Fabulous Stains would help inspire the vitally important riot grrrl movement of the 1990s. Bikini Kill will hit the ACMI stage after two sold-out shows at the Forum and will chat movies, women in music, punk rock and more! Join us for what will be an incredibly enlightening and empowering evening.
About the Film
Featuring some of the very first roles for then teenagers and future Oscar-winners Diane Lane and Laura Dern, Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains follows three girls from a low socio-economic background who hit the road with a punk band and washed up rock stars. Their drive is less about ‘making it’ per se and more about paying their rent, paying their bills, and keeping food in their mouths, all while their aggression and attitude inspires a wave of other teen girls in what becomes an unlikely phenomenon.
Lost to a wider audience for decades, it’s easy to understand why a cult fandom remained percolating for Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains – the themes and message are as punk rock today as they were at the dawn of the eighties. The film is as much a satire about female exploitation in a male dominated industry as it is a rollicking musical featuring sex, drugs, and very, very good rock ’n’ roll. With a screenplay from Nancy Dowd enhanced by the lived experience of music producer and director Lou Adler, its formidable reputation became a critical text for the feminist riot grrl movement.
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