Apr 26, 2014
I don’t know what it is about fags and loud, bossy, and belligerent fat chicks, but they seem to go together like puke and whisky. Of course, with the homo-homogenizing LGBT propaganda machine, it seems every cutesy ditz bitch in high school nowadays wants her own pet poof friend as demonstrated by recent trash pseudo-quirky queer teen comedies like G.B.F. (2013). Long before fags made for trendy accessories for heterosexual chicks, there existed depraved women know as fag hags—typically lecherous, masculine, and repugnant women of the morally retarded sort—who were in solidarity with homos, as kindred corroded spirits of sorts. Undoubtedly, probably no other filmmaker in cinema history has had such an affinity for the most repulsive and grotesque of fag hags than kraut aberrosexual agitator Rosa von Praunheim (Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts, Your Heart in My Head), who got his start pushing vulgar old women into low-camp films when he opted for casting his own aunt as the dubious lover of a young hustler in his first feature Die Bettwurst (1970), which spawned the sequel Berliner Bettwurst (1973) and the short quasi-sequel Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please? (1999). While Lotti Huber (Anita: Dances of Vice aka Anita – Tänze des Lasters, Affengeil)—an old Der Stürmer-worthy Jewess who was a cabaret dancer during the Weimar era—was arguably von Praunheim’s ‘greatest’ discovery in terms of wayward overweight women, American Jewess Tally Brown certainly held her own in terms of audacious anti-beauty as a degenerate diva of debauchery. Indeed, with his documentary Tally Brown, New York (1979), which offers a telling cinematic portrait of Tally, von Praunheim managed to receive the German Film Award in Silver for ‘Outstanding Non-Feature Film’ in 1979. To von Praunheim’s credit, Tally Brown, New York is a priceless work for those interested in underground cinema of the 1960s, as the eponymous subject starred in various films directed by Andy Warhol and Gregory J. Markopoulos. Indeed, appearing in the lost Warhol/Smith collaboration Batman Dracula (1964) and Markopoulos’ homosexualized feature-length Aeschylus adaptation The Illiac Passion (1967), Brown certainly solidified her place in cinema history, even if she does not seem to understand the magnitude of her contributions. A big woman that some might mistake as a big man in drag, Tally Brown was a classically trained singer who opted for a life of nocturnal debauchery instead of opera and decided to become what she described as the ‘white Billie Holiday,’ ultimately becoming one of the first 'white' jazz singers to perform at negro strip joints and degenerate venues in Las Vegas. In von Praunheim’s Tally Brown, New York, Brown discusses how much she loved working for the mafia, being a friend of tragic tranny Candy Darling, and smoking dope for over two decades without feeling the slightest inkling towards dependency.
Beginning with a shot of giant sign with the film’s title, Tally Brown, New York immediately lets the viewer know that they are about to encounter a star diva of sorts, but of course, being a Rosa von Praunheim film, it is not a woman that any heterosexual man would ever want to screw, even while they are drunk. In what is unquestionably a great way to make an introduction, Tally first appears in the documentary singing a cover of David Bowie’s hit song “Heroes”, but she changes up the lyrics a little bit and adds her own line, “I…I can be a bitch so you stay stoned all the time but were lovers and that is a fact” and concludes the song in German (Bowie also did a version of the song in German entitled “Helden”). The kind of gal that would have enjoyed being featured in Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon, Tally is quite candid about her life, but it still seems like a lot is left out of the doc, as one can only cram so much material in a 90 minute film. Growing up in a Jewish neighborhood of NYC populated by Teutonized Hebrews who escaped Uncle Adolf’s National Socialist Germany, Tally was born to a man in real estate but she seems somewhat evasive about her upbringing, stating to von Praunheim after he asks about her childhood, “How did I grow up? Like everyone else!,” as if it was an intrusive question. An innately cosmopolitan individual, Tally talks with great joy about how NYC is such a great and constantly changing place where immigrant communities come in, build up a neighborhood, and then another immigrant group comes in and continues the cycle of multicultural malignancy. Proudly proclaiming, “I sing city song,” Tally considers herself an “urban creature” who cannot survive outside of urban areas, confessing, “The country can kill me. I’m just a city child.”
Taking her first serious blues singing job at a black strip bar in Boston, Tally proudly states her favorite venues were the “most raunchiest ones.” Eventually, Tally made her way to Las Vegas where she did all-night shows from 7pm to 7am each day. In terms of what she liked most about Vegas, Tally describes how she was thrilled to see women selling their jewelry and men selling their wives for gambling money. Although she never made it big in Hollywood, Tally remarks regarding her love for Hollywoodland, “Well…I don’t want you to take this personally Rosa, but the thing I love best about Hollywood is that they give you little things that make life endurable.” While living in the courter of New Orlean, Tally believes she got a “European felling” without actually going to Europa. After discussing how she has been using drugs for two decades without getting addicted (though a couple of her ex-boyfriends apparently went insane due to their affinity for narcotics), gay and seemingly autistic actor Taylor Mead (The Flower Thief, Taylor Mead's Ass)—the ‘first underground film star’—rambles on about how he names all of his pet cats after Tally, absurdly proclaiming, “There’s probably no more beautiful woman in the world than Tally Brown.” As for her underground acting career, Tally describes how she was ‘tripping’ for four days on a Warhol production, not realizing she was being filmed, even describing herself as looking like a “petulant baby whale” in the finished film. The ultimate flagrant fag hag, Tally wastes no time proclaiming her undying love for lurking in gay bath houses. In one of the more unintentionally humorous scenes of the documentary, Tally’s East Asian painter ex-boyfriend states, “Well, I must confess, I never saw someone quite like Tally…and what startled me was, here was someone who was completely unconcerned with her weight…physical weight in the conversation sense…but was completely sensuous and beautiful.” With fellow Warhol superstars like Candy Darling, Ondine, and Mary Woronov, Tally also starred in the Lloyd Kaufman co-produced slasher flick Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974) where she took advantage of gorging on fake blood (aka chocolate syrup). Towards the end of the documentary, Divine does a drag show to a Kraftwerk song. In the end, Divine seems like the ‘greater’ of the two divas, though Tally could be her big sister.
Undoubtedly, Rosa von Praunheim has always been more proficient at making documentaries than narrative films and Tally Brown, New York is certainly one of his more serious docs, thus making it mandatory viewing for anyone with an interest in the homo-supremacist auteur. If nothing else, von Praunheim’s documentary is one of the greatest portraits of a real live fag hag ever made. While the overweight over-the-hill fag hag is probably the most odious breed of human creatures to ever populate the earth aside from big bloated bull dykes, Tally Brown, New York manages to portray the eponymous subject in a quasi-poetic way that even manages to do the unthinkable by even radiating an inkling of class. Indeed, Tally is certainly more tolerable than von Praunheim’s scatological Semitic superstar Lotti Huber, whose mere presence in films like Anita: Dances of Vice is probably enough to induce vomiting in more sensitive viewers. Tally Brown, New York is also notable in that Tally gives a strangely endearing tribute to her tranny friend Candy Darling—probably the only shemale that could pass for a female—who died of lymphoma on March 21, 1974, aged 29 and wrote in a letter to Andy Warhol right before she died, “Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life... I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. Did you know I couldn't last. I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again.” One of the last films Darling starred in before s/he died was a film directed by von Praunheim’s ex boy toy Werner Schroeter, Der Tod der Maria Malibran (1972) aka The Death of Maria Malibran. While Darling was deathly depressed with life, Tally Brown seemed to love to live, or at least that is certainly the impression one gets while watching Tally Brown, New York, a documentary that redefines the word 'diva' for a generation fed on negrophilia, fast food, and dope.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 9:54 PM
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