Owen Gleiberman
May 12, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Superstar in a Housedress

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
95 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/05/04
director
Craig Highberger
distributor
Abramorama
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B

Superstar in a Housedress is a documentary that celebrates the Andy Warhol fame queen Jackie Curtis with a reverence that used to be reserved for people like Elvis and Gandhi. Six foot two, with the body of a linebacker, Curtis was the first celebrity drag artist to make no real attempt to ”pass.” In addition to his scraggly wig, he would wear a Halston dress that he insisted on ripping to semi-shreds and troweled-on makeup that gave him the look of an angry raccoon. His corrosive trash-talk hostility was original, all right, but a little of it went a long way. In ”Superstar in a Housedress,” Curtis remains frozen in his flamboyance. The most resonant parts of the movie are, oddly, the interviews with his fellow glam bohemians (Penny Arcade, Holly Woodlawn), who now look almost touchingly conventional in their memento-stuffed apartments.

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