Friday, February 22, 2013
"Satan's Angel": a biography of a burlesque star
I remember back in the 1950s that there were a couple of movie theaters in downtown Washington DC called the Pix and the Art, and they performed “burlesque”. I thought that was funny as a boy. Some of the lost titles included “Burlesque in Harlem” and “Um-boy”.
Josh Dragotta has a new film “Satan’s Angel: Queen of the Fire Tassels” (72 min), a biography of the lesbian burlesque performer, Angel Walker and her partner Vic Cotwell. Angel, 67 at the time of filming (2012), still performs, but her career started in California in the 60s. She is said to have invented the pyrotechnic fire tassel, which might present a fire hazard in some clubs (given the recent tragedy in Brazil and the 2003 fire in Rhode Island).
She lived part of her life in Palm Springs, played at an LA spot called “The Gay Nineties” (in Minneapolis there is a big gay disco by that name), and even performed in Finland.
Most of the film consists of cameos, interview clips, and scenes inside clubs.
The link for the film is here.
I viewed a screener from Breaking Glass Pictures. The final DVD (available March 5) will have extended interviews. The film screened at Outfest LA, Seattle LGBT, Scottsdale and Austin GLBT film festivals.
I did notice in the screener some loss of detail in scenes with less light. I hope that is fixed on the commercial DVD.
Second picture: Gay club strip in Palm Springs CA (mine, May, 2012).