Last night, Joe and I went to see “Dzi Croquettes” at MoMA, a documentary about the eponymous drag/dance/comedy group from Brazil in the late 60s and early 70s. We would have liked to have seen more archival footage, less reminiscing, but I think the Brazilian expats in the audience were more into the latter, less into the former. I guess they were already completely familiar with the group, so they were primed for the metainfo. In our case, though, not so much.
We did find the performance footage exciting. The personal aesthetic on display — bare, hairy chests, mustaches peeking out from underneath heavy drag makeup, thin waists, bell bottoms — reminds me of a lot of stuff you see from that time period’s counterculture, especially gay stuff, obviously, but even outside of the gay scene, in non-gay underground comics and cult movies. Tim Curry’s performance in Rocky Horror Picture Show for example, is either directly influenced by these guys (which is likely, given that they were big hits in Europe) or indirectly, through others who were influenced. Also: his makeup. Also: Freddy Mercury. And maybe even KISS? But that was later, almost the 80s, after the aesthetic these guys invented had had time to metastasize and vulgarize.
The movie was about thirty minutes too long for a work night, though. We started getting antsy. At least we don’t smoke anymore! That helped.