It is a show run by women, about women, and about women using their bodies not for the benefit of men but for the benefit of themselves. As someone who has been inundated with images of how a woman should look and can’t look, it is powerful see a group of women who show that there is no wrong way to look or be or exist. That every woman has strength in her.
The music drama, and the excess of the rockstar lifestyle, has been pretty well captured on film over the decades, so how does a filmmaker now tell a story of someone living that life without retreading old ground? Director and writer Alex Ross Perry’s “Her Smell” doesn’t seem to have much in the way of bold new ideas on that front sadly, instead he goes for big performances and some pretty interesting narrative framing to compensate. “Her Smell” is a tale of a front-woman of a ‘90s punk three-piece at the very cusp of breaking apart, who is not only clinging on to relevance against her band’s dwindling fortunes, but is also juggling the pressures and responsibilities of real life outside of the ephemeral madness of the rockstar persona.