DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Femme Brutal

Director - Liesa Kovacs/ Nick Prokesch - 2016

"Greasy movie"
Lesbian burlesque dancers expose the female body in novel ways, but that’s not for everyone to see - in new Austrian documentary.

The main tool of an actor is the body. It is with the body than an actor communicates, much more than with words. A dancer likewise. So it is natural that a documentary on a burlesque dance and theater company would emphasise corporal feats. What Femme Brutal brings to discussion is that unfit bodies too can be sexy and desired.

The film opens with a series of presentation of the queer-feminist artists behind the Austrian Club Burlesque Brutal. They created stage personas and perform exquisite acts exploring their sexuality. Although the names of their characters are quite explicit – Cunt, Madame Cameltoe -, there is hardly any full nudity. The documentary gradually explores the actors and how and why they joined the company.

Most of the performers were in search of an audience they could identify with. By revealing that they couldn’t fit in society, they use art as a means to express their personal process of coming out. The problem is that they intentionally reduce their public to other lesbians. Their audience is their mirror. They even have control over who’s attending. There is no confrontation and the performances finish as a mere act of narcissism. Performers do not have to conquer the audience; they already know what they came for. They are their partners.

What is the point of coming out when you only show your identity to a niche? One of the performers affirms that every intelligent woman will sooner or later develop her lesbian side. That is offensive to heterosexual women.

Nevertheless, Femme Brutal has some achievements. The concept and production of the show are made by the hands and minds of standup comediennes. In the history of comedy, women are much less numerous probably because still it is less accepted that women can make jokes about sex. The film Live from New York! (Bao Nguyen, 2015) reveals that very few women in the New Yorker TV show could become standup artists, in a testament of the difficulties that women face in this field.

The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014) is another recent production that explores the feminine quest for pleasure in a homosexual relationship. Like Femme Brutal, it reveals aspects of sadomasochistic habits, suggesting that women still have a long way to go in their search for pleasure. Black masks and whips relate to bondage and discipline, restraint and punishment. In The Duke of Burgundy, this is deeply connected to love; in Femme Brutal, it is merely an act.

Gina Pane is the strongest influence on the Club Burlesque Brutal troupe. Her performance includes extreme self-harm, distinguishing her from other female body artists of the 1970s. She expresses in essence the vulnerability of human body.

Femme Brutal probably won’t be shown in Cinemark circuit but you can follow them on their Facebook community (just click here) It will probably show in the European LGBT circuit soon.

This is the film trailer:



"Greasy movie"

By Maysa Monção - 06-04-2016

By Maysa Monção - 06-04-2016

Maysa Monção is a Brazilian writer, teacher, translator, editor and art performer who cur...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

History repeats itself again and again. Ex-Shaman portrays [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
For me, film festivals are exciting because they [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
When people die, they are taken to the [Read More...]
John (Costas Mandylor) says, “your mother didn’t like [Read More...]

Read More

How about a new Cleopatra movie?

 

Tim Werner - 18-04-2019

It is a movie that has been speculated about for almost a decade, but rumours have once again emerged this year regarding the prospect of a new big-screen take on the story of Cleopatra! [Read More...]

Where Hands Touch

Amma Asante
2019

Lucas Pistilli - 17-04-2019

Black girl meets white boy in Nazi Germany, what could go wrong? Romantic war drama raises questions about unshakeable national identity, in a story with many parallels to the Brexit narrative - in cinemas Friday, May 10th [Read More...]

Dragged Across Concrete

S. Craig Zahler
2018

Jeremy Clarke - 15-04-2019

Refrigerator. Dead rat. Dirty characters exhibit misogyny and racism in this bleak vision and slow burning, edge-of-the-seat thriller - in cinemas from Friday, April 19th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *