MIRCA was a perfectly OK, slightly worth set of discussions of gender and gender-queer in which a bunch of Berlin people and the Italian film maker played some pranks on people in the street and got the expected reactions of incredulity, giggles and hostility. It would have been better shorter, or if it had focussed on the most interesting person in it, Ocean, who was less into talking us through GQ1.01 and more into being quietly fabulous.
I was much more taken with DRESSED AS A GIRL, which is a chronicle of the very theatrical, very glittery world of modern East London Drag – where the emphasis is less on passing and more on being theatrical and fabulous. These are Divine’s children and also the Divine David’s – very glittery, very sequinned and very very rude.
Over the period covered, Amber decides to transition and does – and rebuilds her relationship with her father;Pia decides that the world is too full of misery for her to deserve to be happy; Julie makes a career of being a woman drag queen and is gruff and gorgeous. Johnny Woo – the ringmaster of all this – accepts that this is what he wants to do; Scottee moves from being a slobbering mess working out their issues in public to being a really accomplished performer by refining their schtick rather than abandoning the material; John Sizzle copes with ageing. (45? A mere child, dear…)
I hadn’t expected to like this film as much as I did – it’s all about community and diversity and teamwork and kindness…
PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST is a superior and intelligent version of that lesbian rom-com in which someone ditches their partner for a sense of possibility and pastures new, and LEARNS A VALUABLE LESSON. I found myself going -don’t leave, just cheat – at various points, which is not at all what I think. I liked bits of it more than the whole – there’s a wonderful cat funeral which turns into a bitchfest, and there is a scene when the mostly straight potential new girlfriend gets scared off by the heroine’s family. I just didn’t like the heroine much and liked her friends less – but sure, it was funny and real and I know some of those people and interactions.
After that, I went to the DRESSED AS A GIRL afterparty at Atmos where I sat at the bar for ten minutes waiting to be served. Gay bars, where staff think their job is to cruise the hot fit white boys at the bar and ignore anyone they don’t fancy – I really haven’t missed you. I made no excuses, just left.