Mad Tiger | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Mad Tiger

Documentary about art-punk band Peelander-Z finds poignancy during a time of band upheaval


The heart of the long-running band Peelander-Z, a punk-rock, art and assorted-stage-spectacle outfit, is members Yellow and Red. The band is from outer space, and each member adopts a color as an identifier. Alternately, the band comprises Japanese artists, musicians and performers who met in New York City in the late 1990s. Regardless, as depicted in Michael Haertlein and Jonathan Yi’s loose, fly-on-the-wall documentary, when Red announces he will leave the group at the end of 2012, the fun stops. The film mostly focuses on de facto band leader Yellow and how badly Red’s departure affects him, both professionally and personally. Unsurprisingly, men who present themselves in public as, say, a squid from another planet, have trouble expressing their real feelings. But the shaggy film grows surprisingly poignant, as the two old friends negotiate what is an amicable but painful separation.

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