Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Frank Simon. 1968, 68 min. With Jim Dine, Jack Doroshow, Bruce Jay Friedman, Bernard Giquel. More than 40 years before RuPaul’s Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event. Organized by LGBTQ icon and artist Flawless Sabrina, the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern. But perhaps most memorable is an epic diatribe calling out the pageant’s biases delivered by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to form the influential House of Beija, heavily featured in Paris Is Burning (which screens all weekend in tandem with The Queen). A vibrant piece of queer history, The Queen can now be seen in full resplendence thanks to a new restoration from the original camera negative.
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