Still from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
In a world where many people would rather binge-watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, two men from Miami are changing the game. Their series, Flaming Classics, educates audiences about classic films that are feminine, queer, campy, and everything in between — and includes live performances by drag queens. It’s 2017, Donald Trump is president, and we need this.
Flaming Classics, a new film series directed by Juan Barquin and Trae DeLellis, will pair feature films with live performances by some of South Florida’s most popular drag queens and kings at the Bill Cosford Cinema this summer. May 28 through August 6, Flaming Classics will debut its inaugural lineup, Summer Camp, presenting works spanning the 1950s through the 2000s.
Each screening, beginning with the 55th-anniversary presentation of the 1962 film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, will be preceded by an introduction to the film. Following the screening will be a drag performance inspired by the film. “The drag queen or drag king will recontextualize the material in some way,” DeLellis explains.
However, don’t expect to see classic cult films such as Fight Club: Barquin and DeLellis are broadening their definition of the genre to encompass a wide variety of films, including some that many people would not consider classics per se. “We wanted to keep each film either feminine or queer or very campy,” Barquin says, “because a lot of the movies that other theaters play for their classic films are very masculine. A lot of these very typical cult movies… don’t include a lot of femininity. It’s kind of like, hey, let’s bring that in for an audience that’s a little bit different.”
Some of the films in the lineup aren’t blatantly queer, such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Barquin and DeLellis hope the subtlety will prompt audiences to think critically…