“How many ways to do we love this performer,” TIFF’s Noah Cowan asked the rowdy audience at the Bloor Cinema before introducing “Peaches Does Herself.” “Not only does she come from our locale… She’s Canada’s greatest export. But she’s also an amazing performer. She shatters stereotypes and she just rocks the fuck out of everything she does.”
Peaches certainly rocks the fuck out of “Peaches Does Herself.” A transsexual rock opera/concert film done only the way Peaches can (Indiewire’s Boyd Van Hoeij described it quite perfectly as “a ‘Pina’ for the queer and sexually liberated crowd”), the film is a semi-autobiographical adaptation of her stage show and features 22 of her songs (including “Shake Yer Dix,” “Fuck The Pain Away” and “Lovertits”) brought to incredible life via innovative, jaw-dropping performances.
Peaches — who was raised in Toronto but now calls Berlin home — wrote, directed and stars in the film, which had its world premiere Thursday night.
“I decided early on to film the stage show,” she said on stage in Toronto. “But I didn’t exactly know how far we could go with it. This was the dream. I hoped to have a good documentation, you know?”
After the screening, Peaches brought onstage an glorious parade of collaborators, including her cinematographer, sound designer, set designer and a slew of performers (most notably The Naked Cowgirl, who definitely steals a scene in the film via inserting matches into her nipples and getting a giant, beautiful she-male to light them).
The Q&A that followed was an expectedly rowdy affair.
“Do your songs come from experience or inspiration,” one audience member asked.
Peaches: “They come from all places, inside and out.”
“Where’s the party,” another member screamed from the balcony.
“In your fucking pants, asshole,” The Naked Cowgirl screamed back, stealing the microphone from Peaches.
The biggest applause of the night came after another audience member asked whether Lady Gaga pays Peaches royalities for “ripping her off.”
“Na-na-eh-eh-eh,” Peaches said, to the tune of Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
The Q&A also mixed in some relative sentiment when The Naked Cowgirl took the mike again and complimented Peaches on her work.
“She was an incredible director, she wears so many hats,” she said. “Ida Lupino, move over! And she’s down to earth as a person. That’s so beautiful. Toronto is a great, great city and made a lot of great people and she’s certainly one of them.”
Watch the entire Q&A here (the Lady Gaga comment comes around 2:18). “Peaches Does Herself” screens twice more at the festival, and Peaches herself will be performing tonight at The Drake Hotel. In addition, Peaches’ site-specific installation can be seen in the Drake’s windows as part of TIFF’s Future Projections program.