More than 40 years before RuPaul's Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary directed by Frank Simon about the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage to kiki with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event. Organised by LGBTQ icon and activist Flawless Sabrina, the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern. But perhaps most memorable is an epic diatribe calling out the pageant's bias delivered by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to form the influential House of LaBeija, heavily featured in Paris Is Burning (1990). A vibrant piece of queer history, The Queen can now be seen in full resplendence thanks to a new restoration from the original camera negative.
Following the screening, The Capitol will host an in-conversation with special guests Zackary Drucker, the American trans artist, photographer and producer of Golden Globe-award winning TV series Transparent, and Israeli genderqueer drag artist, Asis D’Orange.
Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, cultural producer, and trans woman who breaks down the way we think about gender, sexuality, and seeing. She has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals including the Whitney Biennial 2014, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, MCA San Diego, and SF MoMA, among others. Drucker is an Emmy-nominated Producer for This Is Me, a docu-series exploring the real-life, everyday issues of trans and gender-nonconforming people as well as a producer on Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent. She is also the photographer for Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection, a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models, which aims to help media portray a more honest representation of the queer community
Going by the stage-name Asis D’Orange, Aviv Shalem is a gender-blending fashionista drag performer from Tel Aviv. As a genderqueer Arab-Jew raised in a religious household, Asis found themselves at several intersections of society. In drag Asis found a place to delve into fashion and art from a distinctly political, anarchist and genderqueer perspective. Their star has been on the rise since 2017 when they took home the crown in the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival’s first drag competition. Shalem is passionate about fashion, feminism and veganism, and their work transgresses the ‘acceptable’ to explore these themes through a queer, anarchic perspective.
$22 full / $18 conc / $15 RMIT students and staff
Co-presented by The Capitol and Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM)