One of the telling lines of “The Queen” is when show runner Flawless Sabrina explains that the biggest task of organizing the Miss All American Camp Beauty Pageant is finding a hotel that can house all the contestants, and finding a hotel that’s “hip” enough to want to house them. In 1968, being out and yourself was about being as discreet as possible and operating behind closed doors. While “The Queen” is basically a documentary about the cut throat world of Drag pageants, as well as a sobering portrayal of how the LGBTQ community had to function behind closed doors for much of the twentieth century.
This month’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot and the launch of the modern gay rights movement marks a perfect time to bring back Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg’s groundbreaking 1984 documentary, which details the LGBT experience in the decades prior to the game-changing pushback that occurred at New York City’s Stonewall Inn in 1969.
With Godzilla and giant monsters currently stomping through American cinemas, “Terror in the Skies” comes at the right time asking us about allegedly real giant monsters. Throughout decades of folklore and legends, there have been encounters with giant winged beasts, and supernatural monsters, all of which have managed to spawn mass hysteria and mysterious accounts by locals of various towns around America. While “Terror in the Skies” has potential to be a creepy documentary, it watches so much more like afternoon filler on basic cable.
In this documentary, filmmaker Jerry Williams investigates the life and events that have made Dirtwoman famous and infamous in the Richmond area from birth until death, including her very own pinup calendar release, her collaboration with GWAR, and the yearly Hamaganza spectacular to name but a few.
Documentary filmmaker Chris Metzler has given audiences a look into strange and fascinating subjects through his productions “Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea” (seen in the above photo), “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” and his new release “Rodents of Unusual Size.” On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” Chris discusses his distinctive approach to nonfiction filmmaking.
BOOTLEG FILES 685: “Wings Over Everest” (1934 Academy Award-winning documentary short).
LAST SEEN: One YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A forgotten work.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not as a standalone film.
Everyone knows that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first men to reach the peak of Mount Everest with their landmark 1953 expedition up the Himalayan mountain. However, most people are unaware that they were not the first men to see the top of the world’s highest mountain. That achievement belonged to a 1933 aerial expedition led by Sir Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (also known as Lord Clydesdale) and Lieutenant David McIntyre. Sadly, that accomplishment has been mostly forgotten today – except for Academy Award completists who know about the expedition through a short documentary called “Wings Over Everest.”
Rachel Lears’ political documentary “Knock Down the House” might appear to be a documentary exploring the campaigns of a group of women that sought to win positions in the House in Washington, but deep down it’s about hope. For too long, America has been convinced that frankly only established politicians and those within inner circles can claim positions of power. “Knock Down the House” shows how four women rose from obscurity to shake up the government, and how Alexandria Ocasio Cortez rightfully won her position as congresswoman.
For this week’s Shorts Round Up, we check out some great shorts including two animated experimental films one of which by film students, a thought provoking science fiction drama, and a riveting human drama.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.