Our own Jinkx Monsoon won the hearts of every arty farty/faggy waggy type in the country when she did her flawless Little Edie Beale impression during the “Snatch Game” segment on Season Five of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” earlier this year. Not only was it a brilliantly funny and witty performance that helped Jinkx snag the crown, but it got to showcase the amazing Miss Beale to a whole generation or two of gay and straight Americans who weren’t really aware of this iconic figure of individuality and eccentricity. For those few readers still unaware, Little Edie Beale was a faded socialite living in the ruins of her family’s decrepit mansion in East Hampton, New York with her equally eccentric mother Big Edie. The Beale Mother/Daughter duo caught the attention of the world in the early Seventies when they were nearly evicted from their filthy home and it was discovered that Big Edie was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and Little Edie was Jackie O’s first cousin. Jackie swooped in to make some repairs to the home and the Beales were allowed to stay, but filmmakers Albert and David Maysles were intrigued enough by their story, to create a hauntingly beautiful (as well as frequently very funny) documentary about the pairs’ dysfunctional relationship. Big Edie died not long after the debut of the film but Little Edie finally reached the goal she had for so long tried to attain…she became a Star.
The success of the documentary has continued for nearly 40 years with an equally acclaimed HBO drama starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange also earning praise, and a Tony Award winning musical based on the story was recently staged here in Seattle. The Beale story just never seems to go away and Ms Monsoon’s clever portrayal of Little Edie has brought the duo even more fascinated attention.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s Queen Diva PEACHES CHRIST has earned herself a further title as a canny event producer and the clever Miss Christ evidently sensed a terrific opportunity after seeing the Monsoon performance…earlier this summer, Peaches Christ announced that she would play Big “Queenie” and Jinkx would play Little “Queenie” for a very special live dragged up version of the acclaimed film at the Castro Theater to happen October 12, 2013. Their live action shenanigans would precede a screening of the film at the iconic theater.
Naturally, Seattle fans were a bit wistful that the Golden Gate City was once again snagging a cultural treat seemingly from right under our noses but apparently either Miss Christ and/or some little birds at Seattle’s Three Dollar Bill Cinema decided that this event desperately needed to be replicated in Seattle for Three Dollar Bill’s upcoming Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival happening October 10 – 20. A scant five days after the San Francisco performance of RETURN TO GREY GARDENS, Miss Peaches Christ and Miss Jinkx Monsoon will jet their way to Capitol Hill’s Harvard Exit Cinema for the Thursday, October 17th live event followed by a screening of the Maysles Brother’s classic documentary.
This special live event is just one of several such events for the 18th Annual Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Additional live events this year include another San Francisco connection as the SLGFF is also co-sponsoring the return of Heklina’s TRANNYSHACK on Friday, October 11th at Re-bar. In addition, Three Dollar Bill is also teaming up local actor/producer Ian Bell, beloved for his Brown Derby movie parodies at Re-bar, for a live performance of the never produced sequel to John Waters’ PINK FLAMINGOS titled FLAMINGOS FOREVER. Waters attempted to get funding for the film but a lack of support for a project that featured Divine flying on a magic turd and then the death of several key actors vital to the project including Divine herself ended any hope of cinematically completing the project. Mr. Bell’s staged version with a local cast (so far unannounced) will hopefully bring the dream of those flying turds to incredible reality…in a low budget sorta way highly appropriate to the spirit of John Waters.
The “draggy” nature of this year’s festival could be tied in to the fact that the Opening Night Film is Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary about the iconic star of all those John Waters’ films. I AM DIVINE kicks off the festival on Thursday, October 10 at Seattle’s Cinerama and examines the life of Divine, aka Glenn Milstead and his climb from chubby Baltimore hairdresser to beloved cult cinema star and international drag Glamazon. Queer cinema fans will remember that Mr. Schwarz brought his acclaimed documentary VITO to SLGFF two years ago and the director is also well known for other documentaries focusing on other iconic gay personalities like porn star Jack Wrangler and his upcoming film on actor Tab Hunter.
Much more information including ticket/pass info and the full line-up of films and events to be released later today. Without having seen the full line-up, it’s already pretty safe to say that this year’s Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival will feature a large number of Must Not Miss Events. And, if you want to experience a special preview of this year’s festival at the Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Avenue on First Hill on Sunday, September 29th at 3pm. Go here for more info.
Tags: Grey Gardens, Heklina, I am Divine, Jeffrey Schwarz, Jinkx Monsoon, Little Edie, Peaches Christ, Pink Flamingos, Return to Grey Gardens, Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, sgsapp, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Trannyshack