Wigstock was an annual drag festival which glamorously signaled the end of summer for the gay community in New York City for almost 20 years. Late one night in 1984, Lady Bunny and a few ...
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Wigstock was an annual drag festival which glamorously signaled the end of summer for the gay community in New York City for almost 20 years. Late one night in 1984, Lady Bunny and a few friends drunkenly wandered from the Pyramid Club in the East Village to Tompkins Square Park and staged an impromptu drag show in the bandshell. This would soon become an annual drag bacchanal that lasted up until 2001. And now, Lady Bunny has brought it back. This past summer, the festival returned, bringing together legendary queens with some of the new children of drag, into one of the largest drag performances ever staged. Wig explores the origins and the influence of the historic festival through rich archival footage, as well as provides a look into the contemporary drag movement that the festival served as a foundation for. Wig is a celebration of New York drag culture, and those personalities and performances that contribute to the ways we understand queerness, art, and identity today.Written by
Wigstock was the annual NYC drag event that ran for aprox. 20 years from the 80's to mid 2000's. Much of this doc follows many of the performers as they prepare for the 2018 revival.
The film gives much of its time following Lady Bunny, who was there in the beginning and is co-hosting the revival. It also contains vintage clips of early Wigstock events and performers. However, the film feels like a poorly edited hodgepodge of these clips without a clear focus or direction. I felt like I was watching someone's home movies at times, which I'm sure was the point but felt lost without any narration of what was going on at the time. The doc culminates in about 20 minutes (of the over 6 hour festival) filmed at the 2018 event, which was the most interesting and I wish had been the entire movie (and I wish I had been there).
I enjoyed some of the up close interviews, with a few feeling almost voyeuristic. Ultimately, though, the whole thing, from the title to the editing, feels thrown together and unimaginative (imagine that, some of the most imaginative people on this earth in a film that isn't). The hard-to-find original documentary "Wigstock" is a much better depiction of the early days of the festival.
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