Watch Wigstock: The Movie
- 1 hr 25 min
Wigstock: The Movie is a 1995 documentary that captures the essence of Wigstock, an annual drag festival hosted in New York City during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The movie showcases the colorful and lively performances of some of the most iconic drag queens and kings of that era, including RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Leigh Bowery, and Lypsinka, among others.
Directed by Barry Shils, the film takes us on a journey through the history of Wigstock, from its humble beginnings as a small gathering in Tompkins Square Park to its explosive growth as a world-renowned event. The documentary is rich in archival footage, capturing the raw energy and joy of those early years, as well as interviews with the festival's organizers and performers.
RuPaul plays a prominent role in the movie, with footage of his legendary performances and behind-the-scenes glimpses of his interactions with fellow drag artists. We also get a sense of his meteoric rise to fame, including his breakout hit "Supermodel (You Better Work)" and his groundbreaking talk show The RuPaul Show.
Other notable performers featured in Wigstock: The Movie include John Epperson, better known as the drag queen Lypsinka, who mesmerizes audiences with her lip-sync performances; Debbie Harry, of the rock band Blondie, who takes the stage in drag for the first time; and the late Leigh Bowery, a performance artist and designer who pushes the boundaries of gender and sexuality in his outrageous costumes.
Beyond the entertainment value, Wigstock: The Movie also sheds light on the political and cultural significance of drag performances in the LGBTQ+ community during the early 1990s. Through interviews with festival-goers and organizers, we get a sense of the camaraderie and activism that underscored the festival's message of acceptance and inclusion.
The movie is not without its flaws, however. Some critics have pointed out that the documentary only scratches the surface of the historical and social context of Wigstock, with a narrow focus on the festival's celebrity performers and glittery costumes. Others have criticized the movie for its lack of intersectionality, with a predominantly white and male cast that fails to represent the diversity of drag culture.
Despite these shortcomings, Wigstock: The Movie remains a vibrant and stylish tribute to a bygone era of drag performance. It captures the raw energy and excitement of a community coming together to celebrate their creativity and sexuality in the face of adversity. And with its dazzling costumes, infectious music, and irreverent humor, the movie serves as a timeless testament to the power of drag performance to transcend boundaries and bring people together.