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Wigstock - The Movie (1995)

1 rating: 3.0
Documentary movie directed by Barry Shils

The king, or maybe that should be queen, of all drag shows, New York City's 10th annual Wigstock festival, provides the setting for this lively and frequently funny documentary. Some 30,000 fans showed up, many of them suitably adorned with impossibly … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Barry Shils
1 review about Wigstock - The Movie (1995)

Let's Party

  • Jan 16, 2007

Let's Party

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

If you are ever down n the dumps or just looking to be entertained, put "Wigstock" in your DVD player and sit back and enjoy. The original Wigstock festival was held in New York in 1994 and is immortalized by his great film. It was a day of joy in the city. What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon--people who are proud of who and what they are having a big party. This is the very essence of what makes America the great nation that she is. What a fun experience this is. "Wigstock says to us that we can all get together and just have fun. For 85 minutes you find yourself transported to another place where everything is fun.
It is hard to describe this movie. It is a documentary of a drag festival but it is more than that. It is a concert of drag queens but it is more than that. It is more than performance art. There are fabulous costumes and hair-dos and people being together and enjoying each other.
Some of the classic drag queens are here: Lady Bunny, RuPaul, Lypsinka and others and everyone possesses a unique talent. But sometimes the audience is even more interesting than the performers. It is a large array of all kinds of people, gay, straight, costumed, undressed, and transgender people--all who have the same idea in mind--to have a good time. There is nothing political here and nothing is sacred.
There are live performances and scenes of the skylines of New York. It is so beautiful to see gay and straight alike come together for the simple purpose of having fun. Mistress Formica opens the show and he is followed by Lypsinka who is entertaining as usual (Remember him in "Another Gay Movie"?). He is accompanied by the Wigstock dancers who desperately needed a little more practice but just had a great time pretending they could dance. Leigh Bowery does a bizarre performance about birth. As the performances take place on the stage, the cameras follow Alexis Arquette as he prepares his outfit for the celebration. Coming to the stage is a veritable show case of drag performers--some good, some not so good. There is also a bittersweet moment when you see the imposing World Trade Center rising in the background. It like many who were in the film is no longer with us. It makes us realize that we won't live forever but when you see the gathering of beautiful people you realize that you can live life and be happy while you do.
"Wigstock" succeeds despite the fact that it is shallow and silly in parts.
If we can celebrate at Wigstock, we can celebrate everyday. It is a look at the happiness and joy we can achieve just by being ourselves and being together. I was reminded of Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve and Halloween all rolled into one big fun time.
The message of "Wigstock" is to demonstrate that a drag festival, or any festival for that matter, is nothing more than a means for lighthearted fun.
The movie closes with the appearance of the organizer of the whole shebang, Lady Bunny. He is an exaggerated parody of everything drag is about and he is funny.
The one thing I did not like is that some of the drag queens provide a feeling of self-importance but I pushed that aside. Surely questions are raised by the festival but they are never answered. The film does not pretend to preach, teach or do anything radical. It simply wants us to enjoy--enjoy the show, enjoy the atmosphere and most of all, enjoy life.

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