By Lizzie Wilcox
Bring your floaties this Sunday, Sept. 3, for a special screening of Disney’s The Little Mermaid at the UC Pool. The film will be projected on 35mm and is paired with a drag queen performance from Miss Toto and Persephone Von Lips.
The “dive-in” theater event is part of Flaming Classics, a film and drag performance series that is the brainchild of Trae DeLellis, Cosford Cinema manager and adjunct professor, and Juan Barquin, co-runner of Dim the House Lights and arts writer for Miami New Times. With every Flaming Classics screening at the Cosford Cinema, there is an introduction explaining the queer aspects of the film that will be shown. After the film is presented, the audience is treated to a drag performance by a local drag queen star.
The idea behind Flaming Classics comes from the book Flaming Classics: Queering the Film Canon by Alexander Doty, which DeLellis had to read while he attended graduate school at University of Miami.
“It’s all about this idea of reading queer specifically for classic Hollywood where queer representation didn’t really exist,” he said. “It’s kind of like looking at films and finding yourself in them.”
This event was made possible in part by Secret Celluloid Society, a group started by Nayib Estefan that projects films on 35mm and has access to a portable projector. Many films shown at the Cosford are projected on 35mm, but the anchored in-house projector prevents screenings outside of the Cosford.
“Most theaters were required to update to digital projection … so it’s definitely something that’s nostalgic in a way, but I still think 35mm is the best way to look at films,” DeLellis said.
There will be two showings of The Little Mermaid: at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
“[The Little Mermaid] is actually quite queer, the narrative,” DeLellis said. “A person that loves someone that she’s not supposed to love … and a patriarchal society telling her she can’t.”
After each screening, Miss Toto and Persephone Von Lips will do a performance inspired by the film. The performance after the 8 p.m. screening will be more family friendly.
“It’s cool to see another artist take a film that they probably loved and reinterpret it,” DeLellis said. “It’s kind of this really interesting mix of pop culture.”
The University of Miami LGBTQ Student Center, the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, the Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies, and the Bill Cosford Cinema are sponsoring this event.
Viewers have the option of watching the film on dry land or in the pool. Entrance is free to all UM students with the password “kissthegirl.” RSVP to the 8 p.m. and the 11 p.m. screenings at http://www.flamingclassics.com/. In case of rain, the film will be screened at the Cosford Cinema.