Jon: The movie that changed my life…


I first saw the film “All Over Me” when I was 15, and though I wouldn’t say it is my favorite movie of all time, it is most definitely the one that has had the greatest impact on me as a person.

For those of you that haven’t seen it ( and I know all you radical fags and fagettes have), All Over Me tells the story of Claude, a butch-ish 15 year old girl struggling with her queer identity, and her straight best friend Ellen, who is falling into a black hole of drugs and abusive relationships. Claude, of course, is secretly in love with Ellen, and the two navigate this complicated relationship against the backdrop of Hell’s Kitchen, a very bad neighborhood in NYC. There world and relationship is changed forever when they become involved in the murder of a local queer musician.

There is a lot of drama and crying and awkwardness of course, but that is not really what mattered to me when I was fifteen. Luckily, I had great parents and was very well adjusted and okay with my queerness. Very little drama involved. So, it wasn’t the queer storyline  that really changed something inside of me.

What changed me forever was the musical exposure that I was given by All Over Me. It was how I discovered Helium, Sleater-Kinney, Geraldine Fibbers, Babes in Toyland, The Amps, and The Murmurs. Finding these bands started me thinking about feminism, politics, queer theory and modern art. They gave me the nudge I needed to discover other bands like Team Dresch and Bratmobile. Basically, the soundtrack to this movie helped me to become a pretty fucking awesome, smart, and confident queer teen. I know that who I am today is the result of a clear trajectory started my queer/feminist/altenative rock music of the mid-nineties.

Here is and idea I had today but will most likely by apethetic about following through on:

ALL OVER ME soundtrack tribute/cover night!

Four bands each cover 3-4 songs off the soundtrack and all the proceeds go to SMYRC (a portland queer youth non-profit). Of course my band Swallows would play. Local lesbo heartthrobs and 90’s rock lover’s Sick Sick Sister would certainly be invited as well… who else?

I feel like a ton of other queer people my age had a similiar experience with this film, so the night would be bound to succeed, especially here in Portland.

If it actually happens, I totally claim the song “Dragon Lady” by The Geraldine Fibbers. Here is the video:

I would love to see Sick Sick Sister perform “Hello” by Babes in Toyland:

If you have any memories of All Over Me I would love to here about them in the comments….


2 Responses to “Jon: The movie that changed my life…”

  1. October 5, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I remember catching All Over Me on IFC, I’ve hated Tara Subkoff ever since, that how real her crack whore portrayal was. I always felt this was a better film than Larry Clark’s KIDS. At the time I remember a critic saying the film had too much going on and would have been better suited as a 45 minute short. I disagree. I already was familiar with the Murmurs (and budding actress Leisha Hailey )via their single You Suck, but it introduced me to Pat Briggs and later his band Psychotica (now I miss those skinny sized CMJ magazines with the samplers) I loved seeing queer kids who were listening to rock music, facing real problems, and not mincing around like a sitcom characters. I was a teen at the time and carrying a very smoldering torch for my straight best friend so I related to the story-line a lot, their ridiculously non-existent band, the waning bonds of friendship the wanting more… I agree the soundtrack is phenomenal. Being a few years older than Jon I was about the age of the characters in the film, in that dangerous limbo between adolescence and adulthood when all temptation seems alluring and is every choice has a price to pay.
    On a superficial level it made me want to dye my hair pink and listen to Patti Smith all day.. which I probably did. XO

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