You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Unveiling

Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in "The Unveiling." Despite subject's inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees' ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure.

Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure.

Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite African-American single mom who does an athletic pole-climbing act; Eldad is a well-buffed aspiring Latino actor and very good dancer. Erstwhile “Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque” Dixie Evans, now 70-ish, runs “Exotic World” — a strip-memorabilia museum on a ranch outside San Diego — where “stripper conventions” and how-to seminars are regularly held. A couple of other performers (notably a busty blond fire-eater) get briefer screen time.

Evans, who might easily ballast a documentary by herself, provides plainspoken comment on the craft’s burlesque-house roots and subsequent (depressing, in her estimation) tidal shift from gotta-have-a-gimmick inventiveness to today’s largely mystique-free bump-and-lap-grinding. One highlight is seeing a (presumably 1950s) B&W reel of her old act, which sassily mimes a would-be-starlet’s clothes-shedding “audition” for a Hollywood producer.

Otherwise, archival footage is glimpsed just fleetingly. Both Eldad and Michele identify themselves as bisexual, and seem to perform largely for same-sex audiences. There is thus a lack of insight into stripping’s primary market — heterosexual males, at clubs or private bachelor parties. Protags’ remarks about customers who assume they also provide sexual services, or simply get too drunken-frisky, are frank, if seldom surprising.

Sound recording is variable, which doesn’t help toward understanding the heavily accented Eldad. Lensing is OK by verite standards, but editing leans heavily toward short, blackout-separated scenes that convey little grasp of overall structure or pacing. Director Rodney Evans includes some split-screen sequences as one diverting, if gratuitous, stylistic fillip. Nudity is copious, albeit never full-frontal.

The Unveiling

(DOCU -- COLOR/B&W)

Production: A Miasma Films production. Produced, directed, edited by Rodney Evans.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, 16mm), Evans. Additional camera, Lauri King, Chris Robertson, Aaron Kirsch, Eric Wussie; sound mixer, Craig Smith; additional sound recording, Elyzabeth Dunnebacke, Colin Gagon. Reviewed on videocassette, San Francisco, June 5, 1998. (In S.F. Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Running time: 60 MIN.

With: With: Dixie Evans, Michele Watley, Eldad Sahar, Erin Watley, Michelle Levy.

More Film

  • Taraji P. Henson What Men Want

    Film News Roundup: Taraji P. Henson Comedy 'What Men Want' Moves to February

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

  • steve dayan Teamsters Local 399

    Hollywood Teamsters, Basic Crafts Unions Launch Contract Negotiations

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

  • Miriam Nelson Dead: Hollywood Choreographer Was

    Hollywood Choreographer Miriam Nelson Dies at 98

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

  • Boots Riley, Director/Writer/Composer'Sorry to Bother You'

    'Sorry to Bother You' Director Boots Riley Criticizes Spike Lee's 'Fabricated' 'BlacKkKlansman'

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

  • Julianne Moore

    Toronto: A24 Nabs Julianne Moore Film 'Gloria Bell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

  • Eva LongoriaHollywood Film Awards Arrivals, Beverly

    Eva Longoria Joins 'Dora the Explorer' Movie as Dora's Mother

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

  • Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek'Papillon' film

    'Papillon': Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek's New Drama Is 'Somewhat of a Love Story'

    Three strippers perform and muse about their chosen profession in “The Unveiling.” Despite subject’s inherent curiosity value, as well as interviewees’ ingratiating personalities, short running time and lack of polish consign this effort to limited fest exposure. Pic intercuts among its principals at work and at leisure in the L.A. area. Michele is a petite […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content