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TopBilled

Night of films to commemorate Stonewall

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June 28, 2019:

7:30 a.m. For Me and My Gal (1942)

9:15 a.m. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

11:15 a.m. Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)

1:30 p.m. The Harvey Girls (1946)

3:15 p.m. The Clock (1945)

5:00 p.m. A Star Is Born (1954)

STONEWALL

screen-shot-2019-06-23-at-7.01.55-pm.jpe

8:00 p.m. Some of My Best Friends Are (1971)

10:00 p.m. The Ritz (1976)

11:45 p.m. Torch Song Trilogy (1988)

2:00 a.m. Myra Breckinridge (1970)

3:45 a.m. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)

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12 hours ago, jaragon said:

This looks fascinating...

 

I saw it at the time at a local theater (in an extremely gay-friendly town). The local drag queens were somewhat less pulled-together, but preferred it that way. But it was great getting a look at the pageant scene and I'm sure it was eye-opening to any straight people who stumbled upon it. It has to be stated how brave it was for these people to appear publicly in a film, since this was still the pre-Stonewall era in which jobs could be at stake. There were also usually local regulations about exactly how many articles of the clothing of the opposite sex you were allowed to wear without running afoul of the law. I don't know whether this event happened with or without the knowledge of the police, but it was a rare thing to have happened at all and it's great that it was documented. I've seen snippets from this film in other documentaries about gay history over the years, so it's great to have it restored and available again.

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1 hour ago, DougieB said:

I saw it at the time at a local theater (in an extremely gay-friendly town). The local drag queens were somewhat less pulled-together, but preferred it that way. But it was great getting a look at the pageant scene and I'm sure it was eye-opening to any straight people who stumbled upon it. It has to be stated how brave it was for these people to appear publicly in a film, since this was still the pre-Stonewall era in which jobs could be at stake. There were also usually local regulations about exactly how many articles of the clothing of the opposite sex you were allowed to wear without running afoul of the law. I don't know whether this event happened with or without the knowledge of the police, but it was a rare thing to have happened at all and it's great that it was documented. I've seen snippets from this film in other documentaries about gay history over the years, so it's great to have it restored and available again.

I read that time in New York City drag was only legal on stage- so they had to advertise the contest as performance- you are right the men in the film were brave to reveal so much about themselves- it's playing now in a new 4k restoration

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By the way is anyone here planning to go to the parade in New York ?

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4 hours ago, jaragon said:

I read that time in New York City drag was only legal on stage- so they had to advertise the contest as performance- you are right the men in the film were brave to reveal so much about themselves- it's playing now in a new 4k restoration

It makes sense that drag would have to be legally legitimized under the category of performance to be permitted in public. When I first came across drag, it was in performance form as "female impersonation", in which some truly brilliant men such as Arthur Blake, Charles Pierce, Lynn Carter and, later, Craig Russell resurrected the divas of old in clever, often improvised, comic dialogue and vocal performances without any lip-synching. Craig in particular specialized in vocal mimicry not just of film stars, but also great ladies of song such as Peggy Lee, Billie Holliday and Judy Garland. I still crack up when I remember him as Peggy: "Billie invited me to her dressing room to shoot the ****. I thought she just wanted to gossip; I didn't know it was a heavy scene." Jimmy James later made a career of doing more modern singers and celebrities, but has mostly eliminated the drag. I've only actually seen Jim Bailey once and I liked him, but he seemed super rehearsed and by-the-book, with not as much interest in winging it in character. He also seemed interested in only the glam, not so much in the raunchy and/or silly. I really miss that whole era and the tears of laughter watching some of those gents tear into Tallulah or Bette Davis. A lot of modern drag performers seem to think their own personality is enough, and in some cases it's true, but I wish at least one of them would resurrect the old art form of "female impersonation". I refuse to believe that today's gay audiences wouldn't embrace Tallu, but maybe that's because I'm older than I think.

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This rant has made me realize what a great addition to the TCM film line-up Outrageous! (1977) would have been. It was a Canadian independent starring Craig Russell as a hairdresser who moves into female impersonation and it included some of his signature numbers as Mae West, etc., as well as being a very satisfying film on other levels as well. It was a decent-sized hit at the time but seems to have faded with the years. Too bad.

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Related to drag queens;   I'm friends with Gloria Fickling who, with her husband Skip,  wrote the Honey West books.   Gloria has been trying for years to get a movie deal done based on the Honey West character.   She did get a deal done but found out that she didn't renew the rights to the name Honey West and that a drag-queen had taken over those rights (Honey was one of the characters he represented).    The guy was contacted and was very nice;  he gave Gloria back the rights as long as she allowed him to use Honey in his act.    

There was a meeting with Charlize Theron and a deal was almost done,   but Miramax pulled out.     Later on Theron made Atomic Blonde.     This reminded us of how Arron Spelling made Charlie's Angels a short time after cancelling Honey West.  

PS:  Hey Doug;  here is Gloria and her husband on You Bet Your Life.   

 

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Today, drag performers are very much interested in creating their own personas.

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30 minutes ago, rayban said:

Today, drag performers are very much interested in creating their own personas.

Does this include drag kings as well as drag queens?

By the way, how come we never discuss drag kings very much. Is this because it's funnier for men to impersonate women than it is for women to impersonate men?

Thoughts...

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Does this include drag kings as well as drag queens?

By the way, how come we never discuss drag kings very much. Is this because it's funnier for men to impersonate women than it is for women to impersonate men?

Thoughts...

Men is female drag are funnier than women in male drag be men well except in Shakespeare

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I did got see "The Queen" at the IFC  Center today and was very happy I did.  One forgets how cool is too see an old film on the big screen. The movie looks great and I found both fascinating and pure camp.  The co-feature is "Queens At Heart" a short film in which four "average Americans" reveal their double life as cross dressers.  I stepped outside into the blazing heat and found myself in the huge crow celebrating pride- the line around Stonewall was huge- to see so many gays out and proud makes one appreciate how far we've come since 1969 and how far we still have to go

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9 hours ago, jaragon said:

I read that time in New York City drag was only legal on stage- so they had to advertise the contest as performance- you are right the men in the film were brave to reveal so much about themselves- it's playing now in a new 4k restoration

Otherwise, Milton Berle would have been arrested every time he did his show.  

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