A film journey through a universe of female masculinity. A legendary Drag King Night in New York is the point of departure for an odyssey to transgendered worlds, where women become men - ...
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A film journey through a universe of female masculinity. A legendary Drag King Night in New York is the point of departure for an odyssey to transgendered worlds, where women become men - some for a night, others for their whole lives. What motivates them? What changes take place? What do they dream of? The drag kings of New York meet in clubs and change lustfully into their male alter egos, parodying them and exploring male eroticism and power strategies. In London we see women experiment with hormones to become new men and 'cyborgs'. Masculinity and transformation as performance, subversion or existential necessity. Written by
I love drags kings. I love the fabulously campy performances and the way they challenge traditional concepts of gender and sex. Unfortunately, I did not love watching Venus Boyz, an uneven documentary on drag kings with plenty of unfilled potential. How the director managed to make a movie so boring, unfocused and self-indulgent about a field with some of the best entertainers in the country should be one of the mysteries of the modern world. Venus Boyz's structure is simple. Combine footage of performances and minimally edited interviews with drag kings in and out of drag. The resulting film contains brief moments of humor and passing insights on gender deconstruction that are never explored fully--mostly because of the absence of an overarching story structure. Instead, viewers are treated to long interviews and voice-overs with both unattractive narcissistic kings and beautifully articulate gender benders. Venus Boyz will probably be most satisfying to viewers unfamiliar with or looking for an introduction to gender theory and the drag king phenomenon. As for me, I'd rather just go see a drag king show.
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