On New Year's Eve, 1969, a flamboyant ragtag troupe of genderbending hippies took the stage of San Francisco's Palace Theater and The Cockettes were born. For the next 2 1/2 years, these outrageous drag performers created 20 shows with titles like "A Crab on Uranus Means You're Loved" and "Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma," and were featured in four underground films. But when the Cockettes flew to New York City to appear Off Broadway - well, you'll just have to see what happened when New Yorkers took a look at them. Documentarians Weissman and Weber have crafted a record of a wondrous time and a wild group in The Cockettes. Written by
I saw the film The Cockettes after a long, seemingly endless stream of disappointing documentaries. It was such a great pleasure to finally see these filmmakers take a veritable goldmine of fascinating material and do it justice. While including enough supplemental material to keep the interest moving, this film really sticks to its guns and offers a satisfying glimpse at the rise and fall of The Cockettes.
I was also really impressed with the quality of archive footage that appears in the film. At first, I had to lean into my screen and ask myself if these were re-enactments. Really, truly stunning.
I think the best measure of this film is the sense of loss one feels when the credits roll~ a mourning that one wasn't there to experience the subject firsthand and be in on the party. But what a wonderful hour and 40 minutes!
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