Saturday, May 15, 2010
Behind the Burly Q
Q: What’s the movie about?
A: Talking head documentary about the birth, life, and death of Burlesque in America.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: A bunch of very old sexy ladies and Alan Alda.
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Stop! While the subject matter should be fascinating, the film is so poorly compiled, that you almost had to be there to know who's who. This reduces the demographic to men over 70, and since that's about the age when most people get some form of dementia or Alzheimer's, that reduces the audience to about 3 people.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: I found the amount of plastic surgery on these ex-burlesque dancers to be humorous. But don't get me wrong, some of them looked hot!
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: It's a problem for me that it's not emotionally compelling, despite the fact that most of these women tell the devastatingly horrible stories of the childhoods which led them to taking off their clothes for money... Well, I guess some things never change.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: I was very impressed with the eyelashes. Obviously they were falsies, but they came in so many different shapes and sizes, that it seemed like women could really express themselves with the eyelashes they chose. Kind of like how we use shoes these days.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Not dissimilarly to today, most of these showgirls were failed actresses, so it's not surprising that they discussed their sordid pasts on camera like it was the most important accomplishment anyone had ever achieved. But actually, it did sound like an interesting life of travel and hard work, if you don't count the part about having to take off your clothes for a bunch of lecherous men who are objectifying you in their minds.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: Leslie Zemeckis' ability to acquire archival footage is impressive, but her ability to put it together into a story that makes sense and is easy to follow leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the time, I had no idea who the talking heads were talking about or what the talker's significance was in the burlesque movement. Were the women interviewed the biggest stars? Were they the girls on the sidelines who watched the big stars make it, while they stood in the wings? If I had been told upfront, even just that, I would have become more involved in the whole thing. Most of the time I didn't even know who was talking. It got tiring, and then it started to feel too long.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: It does get you thinking about how when you grow old you lose your secret weapon of beauty, and how tough that is for those of us who have learned to rely on our good looks to get what we want. There are also a lot of interesting tidbits about history, but it's just not strong enough to be watched as anything more than a television documentary on the History Channel, and I have no idea how it got theatrical distribution.
Q: Where can I see the trailer?
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