Inside Out 2024: Our Review of ‘The Teaches of Peaches’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - May 25, 2024
Inside Out 2024: Our Review of ‘The Teaches of Peaches’

Philipp Fussenegger’s The Teaches of Peaches did not invent the concert documentary and neither does it reinvent how interviews go. Maybe I have a bias because Peaches is a me coded person, but I love this film’s democratic nature. It takes a queer village to create a concert, a fact that this film acknowledges by who it talks to. One of the film’s other subjects is Peaches’ boyfriend, musician Black Cracker, occasionally stepping in as a technical director. Other interviews include Garbage’s Shirley Manson and fellow musicians reminding viewers of what Peaches does with her image and music.

To paraphrase Manson, Peaches encapsulates both the joy and pain of female sexuality, especially within the context of 2000s North America. She belonged to that later wave of feminist music that pivoted to electronic music but there was still that rawness. The Teaches of Peaches benefits from a lot of archive footage that showed a woman outside the pop aesthetic. It contrasts that archive to contemporaneous footage of a woman rethinking her music twenty years after her breakout album’s release. For better or worse, female rage and sexuality is as relevant with the state of women’s rights today.

The Teaches of Peaches‘ other subjects include former collaborators like Chilly Gonzales and Feist, who learned a lot from Peaches. Fine, maybe that last sentence was reductive as the film shows a mutual mentoring among those three Canadian artists. But as much as an artist is as interesting among her collaborators, she’s just as interesting when she’s by herself. A lot of the scenes has her playing around with the electronic equipment she used then and ones used now. To paraphrase Jean Luc Godard, a woman and a musical instrument are all a film needs to be any good.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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