Sometimes words just aren’t enough. That was the case for Tig Notaro, the comedian who almost three years ago tried to express how she felt after a tragic few months — which included a near-fatal infection, the sudden death of her mother, a breakup, and a breast-cancer diagnosis — in the form of a now-legendary stand-up set. Though hilarious and powerful, any listener of the recording from that night knew they would never be able to fully understand what Notaro was feeling. Tig, the new documentary by directors Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York, starts on the night of that set and ends a year later, at a show marking its anniversary. In between, Notaro works on her comedy while she tries to come to terms with her newfound fame, attempts to get pregnant, and falls in love.
After the film, the song “Words” by Sharon Van Etten plays over the credits. A comedy fan, Van Etten wrote the haunting, melancholic, yet hopeful song for the movie. It captures the balance between the shortcomings of language and the power of speaking your feelings for a living. To get you primed for the debut of Tig on Netflix this Friday, Vulture has the exclusive premiere of “Words.” Enjoy.