Not Bad for a Girl (1995) is a feature length documentary on women musicians of the 90′s from the indie rock music genre from 1989-1995. It celebrates madness, creativity, and gender performance, play and deconstruction. Tina Silvey was the executive producer. Silvey Co. had been producing MTV music videos for most of the well known indie grunge/indie bands including: Nirvana,Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, Stone Temple Pilots, The Smashing Pumpkins, Liquid Jesus, Concrete Blonde, The Replacements and many many more.
Not Bad for a Girl was written and directed by psychologist, rock phenomenologist feminist Lisa Rose Apramian, Ph.D, edited by Kyle C. Kyle, drummer for Venus and the Razorblades, the Motels, Wafflebutt and the Wild Stares and co-produced by Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain. It was completed and toured internationally at film festivals, art houses, and museums from 1995-1997.
What is new and exciting is after resting for 11 years while Dr Lisa pursued other proojects, it has been digitally remastered and includes 99 chapters and is being released directly by the director on this website . A sequel companion Not Bad for a Girl book is in the works . Awarded Best Documentary at the New York Underground Film Festival 1996 and nominated Best Director (Atlanta), Not Bad for a Girl is an up close and personal documentary about women in the rock music and their subculture and fans.
The bands featured in the film were all the members of Hole, L7, Lunachicks, Babes in Toyland, Joan Jett, Calamity Jane, Bulimia Banquet, The Mudwimin, Silverfish, 7 Year Bitch, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill.
The documentary features in-depth interviews with every band member, including Donita Sparks and Jennifer Finch from L7, Courtney Love from Hole, Kat Bjelland from Babes in Toyland, and Becky Wreck from the Lunachicks along with clips from live performances from 1989-1994. It also features young emerging female rock communities including Riot Grrrls at the first annual Riot Grrl Convention, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School for girls of Melbourne Australia, and the Feminist Majority Foundation sponsored “Rock for Choice” benefits featured with L7/ Joan Jett.
Not Bad for a Girl came just after Dr Lisa’s ground breaking qualitative dissertation, on rock music and adolescence. It explores themes such as the musicians’ relationship to their music, (playing styles, kinesis, sounds, lyrics, stage personae), the negotiation of gender identity through rock, subversion of stereotypes and gendered expectations through stage play performances and stylization’s of the body, and the processes of healing and reclaiming through musical expressions.
The film is important because at the time these bands were soaring, the public and press were ecstatic. Most fans and press were hungry and inspired to see women drummers, lead guitarists, and powerful commanding front women rock. Some press that did not fathom the psychological value of gender play and our “shadow” were offended . Others did not know how to integrate women in rock and classified the bands as gender-as-genre. This irritated the performers. Not Bad for a Girl and Dr Lisa’s lens was not from this ilk. It was Dr Lisa’s ability to gain these women’s respect and trust by revealing her own struggles as a woman, that facilitated the interviews and these women sharing their shadows and celebrating their diversity and courage in provoking integration in our own psyches.
This wave of women in music set the tone for future generations here in the US as well as globally; especially in Japan, South America, the Middle East and Europe.
This film came at a time sociologically when women were slowly but surely being integrated into a myriad of avenues previously only available to men. This included: rock music, surfing, boxing, soccer, basketball, skateboarding, sound and film producing, film directing and much more.
We invite you to thoroughly familiarize yourself with this website and buy a copy of this limited edition film. This film makes an excellent addition to any class on women in popular culture, women in music, women directors and independent film, women in communication and women and gender deconstruction/play.
By purchasing this film you support independent film making, the sequel book and our next project (The Alchemy of Enlightened Sexuality and our global work eradicating FGM and sex trafficking). We invite you to consider buying it for your university or women’s center library. Dr Lisa can also come present with it a class lecture, QnA or dialogue.
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to the possibilities..