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We Loved The Film

April 2nd, 2011 No comments

We all loved the film!  We didn’t have computers with us, and our rooms at Big Ruby’s didn’t have a DVD player, so we were not able to look at it until we returned to Memphis.

We were able to see several shows at 801, so that made seeing the film even better.  It was fun, very interesting, and parts of it were terribly sweet – particularly the scenes with the mothers.  Sushi is our favorite – talented, bright, insightful, and quite funny.  We spent so much time at the shows that Sushi noticed and convinced me to have my picture made – she can be terribly kind to us old lesbians!  Thought you’d think it was cute, so I am attaching it.

Fun at the 801

Thanks so much for helping us make our friend’s 75th birthday so much fun!  Also, we are ready for Audience with the Queens, Part 2, and for our next visit to Key West!

Mary

Memphis, Tn

 

Another Great Film Review

March 1st, 2011 No comments

Hi Robbie…

the famous Drag Queen - Sheila Wolf

nice to see you in the outtakes of the movie.  i wanna see you next in drag tooo *lol*…
honey i love this fucking perfect view on our business. I don’t have to earn my money with my drag thing but if i have to.. i would go to key west and perform in Sushi’s bar…
a great entertainment, a senseful look and a funny way to show what we do.

I saw many drag films.. be part of some TV documentaries and playing a few music videos in the last seven years .. but the main thing i love in drag is to meet people like YOU and SUSHI.
That’s the reason why i do drag and burlesque.. and thats the reason why i would rate your film as gorgeous as i can. The world need films like that… !!

Two years ago a movie called Queen Raquela wins the Queer film festival in Berlin.
i am goin’ to the queer film festival in Berlin on this friday… and maybe you can send this movie to the jury next year. That could be a perfect situation to meet us here :-)

i will let you know when the review is online… !!
can i publish some stills of this film?

xoxox
Sheila

Drag Queen Film Viewer Comments

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

Audience With The Queens really humanizes a very interesting group of outrageous characters. It left me wanting more.”

Scot Hoard, Program Director, Key West Film Society

Samantha, Sushi, Robbie Hopcraft, Gugi Gomez and Gassy Winds

Drag Queen Film Screens at Doc Miami Intl. Film Festival

May 18th, 2010 No comments

                                               

                              “Audience with the Queens “

 An exciting and provocative film about the lives of Drag Queen Performers

 Key West, Florida–The documentary film, “Audience with the Queens,” features a diverse group of drag queens who perform at the 801 Cabaret Club on Duval St. in Key West, Florida. And when a straight guy like Robbie Hopcraft takes a look at the lives and experiences of drag queens, onstage and off, he comes up with an eye-opener that’s both informative and entertaining.                                                                                 

  This is Robbie Hopcraft’s first-ever entry into professional filmmaking. The film has recently been accepted into the Doc, Miami International Film Festival being held at the beautiful Doral Resort & Spa located at 4400 N.W. 87 Ave. Miami, Fl. The film festival runs from May 27-30 and the Drag Queen film, “Audience with the Queens”, screens on Sat. May 29th at the Cypress Theatre.  All the film festival theatres are all located within the resort property..

   Hopcraft produced, directed, and did all the cinematography on the film. After spending hours in the editing room working to come up with the best scenes from many hours of film….he said: “I sat with my editor through every minute of every scene we put into the film and it’s very tedious work on a project where the story line developed as I filmed and became more familiar with the Drag Queens that are profiled in the film.  My editor didn’t know the final product I wanted, but by working side by side together over many long hours, he did a great job helping me put together the storyline.”

 Hopcraft says “Although I’ve lived in Key West for over 16 years, until I began filming on this project I didn’t really have much of an idea what Drag Queens were all about, but I sure do now,” he said. “I hope the film will give the audience a greater understanding and acceptance of what this fascinating genre is all about and what it’s like to be labeled ‘different’ by our society.”

Once he began filming he developed a relationship with the Drag Queens and then began to gain their trust, only then was Hopcraft allowed into the inner sanctum—the back-stage dressing room—where everyone is transformed into each Drag Queen’s unique personae.

“I was very careful at first because I didn’t know  where my limits were on the questions I wanted to ask, so I took things slowly and got to know them as individuals”. “The more I found out about them and what they were all about, the more I grew to like them and that’s when I became convinced that this story needed to be told. I met a few of their moms as well, and interviewed them too. It’s been a great  experience for me and we just seemed to get along well right from the start” Hopcraft said.

 Hopcraft’s film production company, Key West Unplugged, www.keywestunplugged.com is based in Key West, Florida.

 For more information on the Drag Queen film go to www.audiencewiththequeens.com or www.keywestdragqueens.com

Three Days of Film and Hope

 And to learn more about the upcoming Doc Miami Film Festival and schedule, go to the festival website at: http://www.docmiami.org

“Ticked-Off Trannies” ticks off GLAAD

March 26th, 2010 3 comments

The LGBT group launches a campaign against a gay director’s campy revenge fantasy film

By Margaret Eby

If GLAAD has anything to do with it, you’re not going to see Israel Luna’s horror flick “Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives” at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. The LGBT advocacy organization issued a call to action today, demanding that the movie be pulled from the festival’s lineup. The reason for the hullabaloo? Well, the film, intended as a campy send-up of 1970s B-movies, shows a squadron of transgender women gruesomely attacked by a group of men. The survivors of the beating then vow revenge, going after their would-be murderers with baseball bats and, one assumes, knives. In its call to arms, GLADD accuses ”Ticked-Off Trannies” of conflating transgender women with drag queens and using “exploitative depictions of violence against transgender women in ways that make light of the horrific brutality they all too often face.” 

Lest anyone assume otherwise, violence against transgender folks is a serious issue. Clearly, no one should encourage the kind of senseless brutality that transgender people face every day. In real life, that stuff is far from funny. Luna’s film, however, operates far from the realm of real life. In an interview with Queerty, Luna, a gay director himself, explained that the movie is essentially an elaborate revenge fantasy, a way of fighting back against the victimization of the LGBT community. “Whenever I hear people saying ‘Fight hate with love’ and ‘Love the bashers’ I’m like ‘No, fuck that. Let’s go get the bats and bash them back,” Luna said. It’s a controversial point of view, and “Ticked-off Trannies” is the director’s Tarantino-esque enactment of it, a world where transgender women aren’t prey to homophobic slashers so much as badass vigilantes. It’s no more real than the idea of a “good” serial killer or a roving band of Nazi-killers.

Which isn’t to say that makes this world compelling — unlike the GLAAD representatives, I haven’t seen more than the trailer (posted below), which didn’t exactly make “Ticked-Off Trannies” look like Fellini. Still, it seems like much of GLAAD’s protest stems from their judgment that they just didn’t think the movie was that good: “Humour can be used to challenge and subvert, but this movie fails on both counts.” I’m not sure that there are many good reasons for banning a film, but I can tell you this: not finding it funny isn’t one.  

 Here in Key West, Florida some of the local drag queens have had hate spewed at them before. RV Beaumont had a man chase her with a knife. Destiny was in a street with some teens that harassed her and called her vile names…It happens, It’s sad, but it happens. One of the issues the film about drag queens, “Audience with the Queens” , is trying to bring out in the open is that drag queens are like other humans in society, they hurt, they cry, they bleed, the laugh, oh do they laugh, and they love.  Yes, they are a bit different on the outside but on the inside there just like the rest of us… The film’s portrayal of them gives more understanding to a genre of society that has been very much misunderstood and discriminated against by most of society. Get the film and see for yourself….it’s really entertaining !!

Drag Queens as Role Models ??

March 6th, 2010 3 comments

RuPaul ...role model ...not !

Ru Paul a Questionable Black Role Model?
By Advocate.com Editors

The principal of a South Los Angeles elementary school is apologizing to parents for allowing students to carry photos of RuPaul, O.J. Simpson and Dennis Rodman in a parade celebrating Black History Month.

“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African-American role models,” Lorraine Abner wrote Thursday in a letter sent to parents of students at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”

The photos of RuPaul, Simpson and Rodman were mixed in and among pictures if more traditional role models including President Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 
Three teachers were suspended for three days without pay and are now on paid administrative leave while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates the incident, district spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry told The Los Angeles Times. The teachers, all men, have first, second and fourth grade classes

Simpson is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence for robbery and kidnapping in Nevada. In 1995, he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend. RuPaul is a drag queen and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race while Rodman has gained notoriety for his bad boy behavior.
 
The district is investigating “why the teachers believed these were appropriate instructional choices for first-, second- and fourth-graders,” Pollard-Terry said, She said the principal did not approve the list and is trying to figure out who did.

          ………………………………….

Comments by Robbie Hopcraft

I just couldn’t pass this one up. You have got to be kidding me!!  What is wrong with these teachers? Are they smoking crack or something else?  These three are definitely part of black history, but if the lesson was on role models, well, someone really blew it here!! I mean drag queens are not the best of role models to be using as examples for our kids. I think Ru Paul is great as a drag queen and she or he may be a wonderful person, but I just can’t see the logic in holding up a drag queen as a role model.  whoaaaa is me !!

Men In High Heels..The New Fashionistas

March 4th, 2010 2 comments

High heels for men are no longer solely within the realm of drag queens. Today the Toronto Star declares them the must-have accessory for, not just drag queens, but also the fashion-forward modern man. Besides, with the fellas trying everything from compression underwear to mantyhose, it was only a matter of time before they would be spotted in stilettos.

not just for drag queens anymore

Androgynous, edgy and sometimes masculine women’s footwear by Balenciaga, Rodarte and Alexander Wang is most popular among drag queen and male fashionistos. Montreal fashion editor Cary Tauben attended Jeremy Laing’s New York presentation in a pair of heels from Topshop and has considered buying a pair of thigh-high Rodarte boots. (The only time he lowers himself to wear flats is on airplanes.)

Many men, drag queens  and otherwise,  wear heels because they make him feel taller, fiercer, and all men including drag queens love to stand out “above” the crowd, plus it goes with giving the “look up to me”  attitude –  I can go out and look tall so I will get noticed.

Stores like Fluevog and Chasse Gardée, both in Toronto on Queen Street West, routinely sell (and sell out of) heels for men. Canadian designer Rad Hourani trotted male models down the runway in an open-toe boot with socks in his fall show.

While we don’t expect to see the look on Bay Streeters (many of whom have only recently discovered that pleated pants are out) any time soon, the Toronto fashion week pack may be a whole lot taller this season.

Drag Queen Fashion….Really? …

February 28th, 2010 No comments

Well now , here’s something a bit different that what the talented drag queens of key west would bring to the stage. But then, it takes all kinds of talent to make the world go round baby…and this can’t compare to what the drag queens, inspired by the designs of Sushi – the design queen of this bunch of drag queens, would ever wear on stage when performing..

this is fashion ?? i'm not so sure !

Last night’s The A*Muse fashion show by Richie Rich in New York was quite a sight to see. Richie, who is the better  half of the outrageous design team Heatherette, brought the aesthetic and the models he’s famous for using to this show too, and while there’s not a ton for us to look at here, it at least looks… crazy?

 Pamela Anderson, Amanda Lepore, Tinsley Mortimer, glitter, spandex…  This is fun, and some good fashion photos, but not a whole lot of talent going on here.  Enjoy !!

Drag Queen Film Premiere at the Tropic Cinema

February 22nd, 2010 No comments

The premiere film screening of “Audience with the Queens” at the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida on wed. Feb 17th was absolutely fantastic. The weather was very brisk for Key West, it’s usually nice and warm during the winters here, but this year has been an extreme exception. I was freezing cold while heading to the theatre on my scooter. My beret pilled down over my ears, scarf wrapped around my neck, gloves on my hands, and my girlfriend hugging me on the back, we arrived with a little frost on our noses.

The STARS make an entrance to the Theatre

The place was buzzing with excitement, lots of people were lined up to get tickets, and there were many already inside the theatre. The drag queens led by the star, Sushi, made their grand entrance with the camera rolling. The other drag queens, Samantha, Gugi, Gassy and Deja’ all looked fabulous and had big smiles on their faces as they posed and made clever remarks to each other and to all within earshot. They are so witty, and the banter that goes on amongst them is really quite the show in itself.

 The theatre manager told me the screening was SOLD OUT in advance, so all who were still in line to get tickets were very disappointed. The best part of that is the film “Audience with the Queens” is playing at the Theatre for the entire week so the ones who missed out on opening night will still be able to see the film.

 The film profiles a very diverse group of drag queens who live and perform onstage here in Key West at the 801 Cabaret Club on Duval Street. The group is led by Sushi, the drag mother to many and the beauty and brains who makes the show go for these drag queens. Sushi makes the schedule and hosts many of the shows herself and she the one who has to give them hell If they screw up, or in some cases, get drunk and don’t show up! The film gives the audience some perspective on what a drag queen is and what they’re all about. They are an interesting subculture to explore and I know I’ve certainly learned much about them and in doing so have come to enjoy them very much !

The film stars make there appearance

 The theatre GM asked me to speak for a few minutes before the screening and give my perspective on why and how I came to do this particular film. It is a good story, but that’s for another day. I spoke before the film screened and talked a little of how I came to get the idea for the documentary and how I got involved with this group of drag queens.

One of the “stars” of the film, Destiny, passed away during the making of the film. She’s still a very prominent part of the film. After her death we filmed her funeral but I haven’t yet added that footage to the film. It was a sad day but drag queens have a different perspective on how to have a funeral.  Destiny’s dad was in attendance for the premiere, and in my remarks from the stage about the film, I dedicated the screening to “Destiny and her dad”. The only way I knew her dad was there was Destiny’s niece, who I met at the funeral, came up to me before the film started and told me. After the screening I made sure I met Destiny’s Dad and we had a nice conversation about his son. It was a very touching ending to a great evening.

The film screens at the Tropic for an entire week. Starting Feb 17th with two shows a day.  I think I’ll end here and continue this a bit later

Drag Queen Film Screens at the Tropic Cinema

February 20th, 2010 No comments

What:  the film screening for  “Audience with the Queens

When: starting today – Feb 19th and continuing all next week

Where: Tropic Cinema, Key West

Tickets: Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St  Box office 305 295-9493

The documentary filmed right here in key west by Robbie Hopcraft, it tells the story about several of the drag queens who live and work in Key West.

what the boys wear when they be girls

 Starring the amazing Sushi, the film profiles the lives of 6 drag queens of the 801 Cabaret. It’s very entertaining and will give you reason to both laugh and cry.

 The film made its Key West premiere screening debut on Wed. Feb 17th at the Tropic Cinema and was SOLD OUT well in advance. Many who showed up intending to buy tickets at the door were disappointed to find out they the premiere was entirely sold out!!

The GOOD NEWS is that the film “Audience with the Queens” will screen for the whole next week. It begins tonight, Feb 19th and will have 2 shows a day for the next week

arriving at the premiere

 Call the Tropic box office for tickets and show times at 305 295-9493 or go online to Tropiccinema.com

 Robbie Hopcraft

305 304-1609