Alanis Morissette performing on stage throughout the Jagged tiny Pill tour (circa 1996). ‘My hope is the she would certainly feel the love and support and also celebration that ns know and also now is proven is what this movie inspires.’ Photograph: picture by Epiphany Music/Alanis Morissette/Courtesy HBO
Alanis Morissette performing on stage throughout the Jagged little Pill tour (circa 1996). ‘My hope is that she would certainly feel the love and also support and also celebration that ns know and now is proven is what this film inspires.’ Photograph: photo by Epiphany Music/Alanis Morissette/Courtesy HBO
Jagged traces the creation and legacy the the breakout 1995 album by Alanis Morissette, that participated in the film but has since criticised the project

Step into any kind of karaoke bar, and there’s a solid possibility that the emotional orgasm of the evening will come indigenous the brave heart who tackles friend Oughta Know, the debut 1995 solitary by the Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. The pop-rock song builds from serrated whisper to full, livid belt, a tourism de pressure of uncut anger and sexual frankness that still scorches 25 years after it dominated music charts.

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Though still the many recognizable song, friend Oughta understand is only one shade of the kaleidoscope the emotions top top Jagged tiny Pill, Morissette’s debut album native the same year – a advertising juggernaut and social touchstone because that female angst that damaged ceilings because that such confessional popular music stars together Taylor Swift, Lorde and also Olivia Rodrigo.

For countless who came of age in the 1990s, Jagged little Pill was a revelatory album, radical in the honesty and stunning in that ubiquity – the 12th best-selling album of every time, through 33m copies sold. Fifty percent of the monitor list, with lyrics at transforms fiery and vulnerable, unsure and wise, became chart-toppers that still beat in stores, ~ above radio, and also in a 2019 Broadway musical of the very same name. And, together a new documentary argues, Jagged small Pill was a item of art born native a few searing years of disempowerment and also exploitation in the music industry, a fortuitous production partnership, and also the miraculous to trust a 19-year-old songwriter put right into her own vision despite countless rejections.

Jagged, directed by Alison Klayman and also the latest installment in the HBO Music Box series created by bill Simmons, is a film clearly born of love because that the album, tracing its arc native its inspiration – specifics frustration through the music industry and also the men in that – to creation to its worldwide chorus of enthusiasm fans.

The film’s celebration event on Morissette’s talent – from beforehand interviews and also demos come concert clip to a taping, in lockdown, the a online performance the her brand-new song Ablaze, four-year-old daughter Onyx on she hip – renders the black cloud hanging over the film’s HBO premiere every the an ext curious. Though the singer, now 47, participates in the film, opened up her archive and offering warm, candid and also circumspect reflections on her time before and also after the fame rocket, Morissette has due to the fact that denounced the project.

“I was lulled into a false sense of security and also their salacious agenda became noticeable immediately ~ above my seeing the an initial cut of the film,” she composed in a statement before the film’s September premiere in ~ the Toronto film Festival, which she did no attend. “This is when I knew our visions were in reality painfully diverged. This was no the story i agreed come tell. I sit right here now experiencing the full impact of having actually trusted someone who did no warrant being trusted.”

According to Klayman, speaking via Zoom, the two had been top top the same page at the project’s outset in 2019. Before Klayman visited Morissette and also her household at their California house in July 2020 (which Morissette later called a “very fragile time” throughout her 3rd postpartum depression), early on phone conversations between the 2 ranged indigenous the patriarchy in ~ large, to focusing the film on the album, come “how the specifics of this story have the right to really lug these bigger ideas to life”, she said, introduce to #MeToo and Time’s Up. “This will certainly be a story that through hearing it, us want civilization to think about these enlarge ideas.”

Jagged see the album’s heritage through the lens the the #MeToo movement, which carried a brand-new vocabulary of sexual abuse and also exploitation, and also awareness of its endemicity in the music industry, into the mainstream. The 25th anniversary that the album, written predominantly once Morissette to be 19 and released simply after her 21st birthday, was “going to be different than the 10-year anniversary, or the 15-year, or even the 20-year, due to the fact that so much has adjusted so quick in just how we think about the current past”, stated Klayman.

Jagged consist of Morissette’s beforehand aspirations to it is in a dance popular music singer in her indigenous Ottawa, Canada, wherein she released her an initial song at age 10, showed up on children’s television as very early teen and also signed v Canadian music producer Leslie Howe in ~ 15. Sitting cross-legged in a room lined through books, Morissette recalled the it was that age, 15, the Howe and producers at MCA records Canada instructed she to shed weight and minimal her food, i beg your pardon “kickstarted a substantial eating disorder journey” the she’s to be “in energetic recovery” for “her whole life”.


Alanis Morissette while recording songs the would come to be the Jagged little Pill album (circa 1994). Photograph: photograph by glen Ballard/Courtesy HBOIt was likewise when fist from guys in the business turned from fawning come sexual. “I just thought it to be my fault, because virtually every solitary person that ns would occupational with, there would certainly be some transforming point wherein the camera would go dutch angle,” Morissette says in the film, introduce to a layout of film-making shot which suggests drama. “And ns would simply wait because that it. Prefer OK, this won’t occur in the very first week because that this one, yet it will certainly happen.”

The transition would “either finish the relationship” or “there’d be just some huge secret the we’d save forever”.

About two-thirds of the means through the film, Morissette expounds ~ above these at an early stage sexual experiences, i m sorry she says she currently views differently. “There’s a many shame approximately having any kind the victimization of any kind of kind,” she says. “It take it me year in therapy to even admit there had actually been any kind of kind of victimization on my part. I would constantly say, you know, i was consenting, and also then I’d be reminded favor ‘Hey, you were 15. You’re not consenting in ~ 15.’ currently I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re all pedophiles. It’s every statutory rape.’”

Morissette does not name any type of of she alleged abusers, however says she calls for help, or acknowledgment, went ignored in a music industry not all set to grapple with abuse in its ranks. “I walk tell a couple of people and it sort of dropped on deaf ears a little bit,” she says. “It would commonly be a stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment.

“The entirety ‘why perform women wait’ thing?” she adds. “Women don’t wait. Our society doesn’t listen.”

As Jagged points out from interviews through music contemporaries such as Shirley Manson, previous band members who sheepishly admit they supplied proximity to she to attract women, and excerpts from reviews doubtful of Morissette’s talent, women challenged an uphill fight in the music sector which doubted and degraded them time and again.


Alanis Morissette performing on stage throughout the Jagged small Pill tourism (circa 1996). Photograph: photo by Epiphany Music/Alanis Morissette/Courtesy HBOIt is unclear what Morissette specifically objects to in the film, i beg your pardon she created in her statement “includes implications and also facts that are simply not true”.

Asked if she knew what implications and falsehoods Morissette was referring to, Klayman shook her head. The singer’s statement front of the premiere “was definitely disappointing, certainly didn’t complement what, you know, what’s in the film”, she said. “I think it’s really tough to have a movie made about you by someone else.”

“My hope is the she would certainly feel the love and also support and also celebration that ns know and also now is proven is what this movie inspires,” Klayman continued. “I simply really appreciated that the film is something that really reflects all of our meaningful conversations. The film yes, really stands, and also I expect it bring audiences to help her feel the support and also love.”

Klayman, who previous films have faced the Chinese government (over artist and dissident Ai Weiwei) and also Trump combine Steve Bannon, claimed she has not spoken to Morissette since the film’s Tiff premiere, and also stands through the snapshot as the “reframing” of “a true individual occupational of art”.

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“It was so madness popular and in the mainstream, the did gain a tiny bit seen as like, ‘oh, this was concocted by the record label’ type of a thing,” she said. “What ns love is the it’s really in reality a story of someone who wasn’t being welcomed and championed by the record labels.

“It yes, really was for, going in, make this because that herself, with a companion who saw her as an artist, and also they approached it as artists act a personal work. And then because of that, the hit so hard, because it wasn’t concocted.”

Such evidence can inspire other artists, she added, “so because that me, doesn’t adjust anything about the story that’s being shared in the film.”