WINDY CITY TIMES
||PLASTER CASTER MAKES IT BIG
by Gregg Shapiro
This article shared 1572 times since Wed Feb 21, 2001
Plaster Caster ( Fragment Films ) : With this bare-bones documentary, director Jessica Villines has created a loving tribute to living legend, groupie and visual artist Cynthia Plaster Caster, who became famous for the plaster casts she made of the penises of a multitude of rock stars ( and, recently, the breasts of female rock stars ) , beginning in the 1960s. Told mostly in her own voice, with its distinctive Chicago accent, Ms. Plaster Caster reveals that after all these years that she is "still a shy caster" and "not a size queen." Interviews with her subjects ( such as Momus, Eric Burdon, Wayne Kramer ) , friends and associates ( publicist Kathryn Frazier, fellow groupie Pamela Des Barres ) , admirers ( Camille Paglia, painter Ed Paschke ) , and her dentist Dr. Feinberg ( who shared his plaster casting expertise with Cynthia ) , are as revealing as what Plaster Caster herself says to the camera. Filmed in a variety of Chicago locations including Plaster Towers ( Ms. Plaster Caster's apartment ) , the Record Roundup, The Wieners Circle, and the Double Door, to name a few, as well as New York, at the opening of an exhibit of Plaster Caster's work in the Thread Waxing Space gallery, this novel "rockumentary" only gets flaccid a couple of times. Opening this weekend in Chicago.
Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows: Based on Lorna Luft's autobiography, this network television biopic is one of the best. The two actresses playing talented but tragic gay icon Judy GarlandTammy Blanchard ( as the pre-teen and teen Judy ) and Judy Davis ( as the young adult and adult Judy ) are terrific. Blanchard has the younger Garland's mannerisms, facial expressions and speaking voicewhich so many of us have to come to know from The Wizard Of Oz and the films that followeddown pat. In fact, I think they switched actresses too soon. Davis played Garland circa Meet Me In St. Louis through the end of her life, and while she nailed the 1950s and 1960s diva on a downward spiral, she was a bit long in the tooth for the earlier years. However, the scenes in which Ms. Davis recreated Garland's legendary concert performances were breathtaking. The supporting cast, including Marsha Mason ( as Judy's unpleasant mother Ethel Gumm ) , the late Al Waxman ( as Louis B. Mayer ) , Hugh Laurie ( as gay second husband Vincent Minnelli ) and Victor Garber ( as devoted third husband Sid Luft ) all allow Blanchard and Davis [ who played Margarethe Cammermeyer's partner in Serving In Silence opposite Glenn Close ] to shine as brightly as Garland herself did. 6.5 out of 10
On ABC-TV Feb. 25 & 26.
This article shared 1572 times since Wed Feb 21, 2001
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