The 44th Miss Gay America Pageant kicks off today in Memphis, TN, and in honor of this fabulously fierce event we give you a list of the 5 must see drag documentaries. You can checkout most of these flicks on Dekko.com.
First up The Queen. "The Queen" came before "Paris is Burning" starring the legendary Flawless Sabrina who MC's and produces the Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant held at Manhattan's Town Hall in 1967. At the time New York Times even reviewed the film and said, "Funny-and inspired-extraordinary in their Atlantic City of Genet-in their Forrest Hills of drag-these gentlemen in bras, diaphanous gowns, lipstick, hairfalls and huff-discussing their husbands in the military inJapan, or describing their own problems with the draft-one grows fond of them all."
Even the judges are legendary, Andy Warhol and George Plimpton. The film was produced by Si Litvinoff ("Clockwork Orange") and Lewis Allen ("Fahrenheit 451" and "Lord of the Flies").
Paris is Burning
Most of you all already know this cult classic, "Paris is Burning." This documentary gives us a glimpse into the world of the 80's ballroom scene. Much of Drag Race's style and lingo has been lifted from this documentary. These queens definitely give us an education in shade. Through all of the humor and frivolity "Paris is Burning" gives us a cuttingly honest examination of race, class, gender and sexuality in America.
Elizabeth Gracen, a former Miss America interviews contentants in the Miss Gay America Pagaent. The film is beautifully shot in black-in-white and is a glimpse into the Southern gay culture in the 20th century.
This documentary also covers the Miss Gay America pageant of 2008. The film covers all of the tricks of creating a convincing illusion of feminine beauty. With all hormone and surgical enhancements banned from the competition, contestants rely entirely on makeup, wigs and wardrobe and are rigorously judged in five categories including Male Interview, Evening Gown and Talent.
The latest in drag documentaries, "The Queens" debated this year and is produced by The Reporters Inc. "The Queens" is an energetic force of nature that explores the whys and hows of the physical alterations the trans contestants have made to their outer bodies. It looks at the tensions that arise between those who have and have not undergone physical alterations to their appearance.
The Unforgettable Danny La Rue
A charming and fascinating look at the six-decade career of Britain’s Danny La Rue, the most famous, highest paid (worth $80 million+ in 2016 dollars), female impersonator of the mid-20th century. Referring to himself as a “comic in a frock,” he was famous for his saucy double entendre-laden cabaret banter, glamorous gowns, and riffing on contemporary stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Carol Channing, Garbo and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Celebrities flocked to his shows at his eponymous London club Danny La Rue’s, among them, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Princess Margaret, Shirley Bassey, Warren Beatty and a sixteen year old Liza Minelli.
More about the Miss Gay America Here