Thursday, November 14, 2013

Going Beyond Burlesque with Beth B’s “Exposed”

“How do you cover up cellulite? With glitter and a spotlight.” These words of wisdom from the legendary NYC, splendidly zaftig, female drag queen World Famous *BOB* pretty much sum up the ethos of legendary NYC, underground filmmaker Beth B’s latest doc-extravaganza “Exposed,” a behind-the-scenes peep at today’s proudly subversive burlesque movement. Its performers include folks like Rose Wood, a biologically male strip-teaser brought into the scene by biologically female drag queen Dirty Martini, and Mat Fraser, perhaps the sexiest Seal Boy – also the name of his critically-hailed one-man show – on the planet. (Sorry boys and girls, this disabled hottie is married to burlesque queen, and former Miss Exotic World, Julie Atlas Muz.)

And while the film itself is rather tame in format – clips from performances cut with straightforward interviews with those artists as well as with Tigger!, Bunny Love, Bambi the Mermaid and James Habacker – its presentation is not. Unsurprisingly, the punk godmother of No Wave cinema is adamant that “Exposed” not be “seen” but “experienced” – in the form of an event that includes actual live performances from one or more of the doc’s subjects. To that end, Beth B might have a thing or two to teach younger filmmakers about getting butts in seats. And, even more importantly as a result, the gender-bending, body-image-shattering pioneers she presents onscreen might just be able to school the world at large. “Filmmaker” spoke with Beth B prior to the U.S. premiere of “Exposed” on Friday, November 15th at DOC NYC.

To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.