on December 23, 2009
This was most definitely a very informative DVD on the subject of burlesque. The women in it started out as knowing very little about this form of dancing, which ultimately is getting undressed in a very sophisticated manner as opposed to basic striptease, even though with striptease, sometimes this can apply also. The clothes are what make Burlesque fascinating and in this DVD, we see ordinary women changing from working attire to the most conderful costumes to perform in, and performing at the end of the DVD in a professional way. These women are from all walks of life, and have not done Burlesque before, therefore at the end of the DVD to see them doing so is quite a revelation.
on December 5, 2009
I bought this because I am interested in learning burlesque after a friend went through a striptease course in New York. I thought it might be more of a "how to" but then discovered that it was actually much more entertaining - even inspirational. It's easy to focus on the nudity or sexual aspects of burlesque, or even the oddity or the glamour, but what makes this intriguing is focusing on the women themselves -- why they want to do burlesque, their fears, body issues, etc. The actual performance scenes are beautiful. Great movie to watch with girlfriends -- or a boyfriend, actually. He'd like it too :)
on November 17, 2009
This film is a surprise jewel of a find: beautiful cinematography, music, performers. It's sexy and touching at the same time. It will appeal to every red-blooded, hetero man for the sheer sensuality of it all. It will reach women in places they didn't know existed or were afraid to acknowledge. It's real; it's intelligent; it's liberating; it's fun. Well written, directed, and edited. A marvelous date film.
on September 20, 2013
I know this was done reasonably recently (within the past decade) but holy crap, the picture quality is so bad that it's distracting. I really wish this were "digitally remastered" or something, because the variety of burlesque acts and the different people that they follow through Burlesque School are pretty awesome...if somewhat blurry.
on February 12, 2010
This one had us winking.
Indeed, A Wink and a Smile: The Art Of Burlesque (First Run Features) is a delightful, amusing, life-affirming examination of this ageless form of entertainment. The shape and structure is clear and forthright: 10 women enroll in a six-week course in stripping, and the audience follows them from start to finish. Less than an academic pursuit, perhaps, but yet, the movie is much more of a learning experience than can be imagined.
Burlesque has a reputation of demeaning women, forcing them into a life of exploitation and tragedy. Nothing could be further from the truth. And from start to finish, A Wink and a Smile shows us what a happy, life-empowering, utterly joyful experience the art of the striptease offers us all.
Filmed during the fall of 2007 in Seattle, the film not only chronicles the lives and ecdysiastic inquiry of an incredibly wide variety of women (opera singer, homemaker, doctor, taxidermist) and body types (tall, short, fat, skinny), but also the wild diversity of burlesque and performance art available in that city.
The audience becomes incredibly involved in the aspirations of these students, and when one must drop out because of the fear of parental disapproval, the force of the empowerment and potency of these classes becomes evident. Deirdre Timmons has crafted a memorable gem.
The weeks of classes are intercut with lengthy examples of professional burlesque performances; sexy and sensual, funny and evocative, these dozen or so illustrations of the art are simply magnificent. From old-fashioned fan and balloon dancers to strangely exotic and mystic explorations of gender and sexuality, Seattle seems alive with possibilities for these students.
A Wink and a Smile is much than merely a study of a timeless show-biz genre, but a wonderful experience of self-empowerment, sexiness, and fun, suggesting in its subtle way that everyone, male or female, young or old, fat or thin, would be much better off if they'd only grab their metaphoric glitter and make-believe boa and become the sexist, funniest, happiest human being the were meant to be could.
Hey you gotta have a gimmick.
on June 30, 2010
I enjoyed all the full-length performances by the pros emensely. I think the film lacks some depth and at the same time went too much into headshot interviews, and I would have liked more dance - even tho there is a lot of dance in it. Maybe the dance that's in it is so good the interviews, or the amount of interviews therein - couldn't compete with the performances. I was disapointed that each INDIVIDUAL dancer's dance was not shown. The whole film shows these very unique people creating their own burlesque performance and then at the end, it's totally glossed over and just some bump&grind group preformance is shown, with mere glimpses of the women's individual performances flashed by; that was frustrating. It was a bit of a smoking gun, as I was dying to see how the women actually *did* on their own infront of an audience. I enjoyed the interview with the female director at the end and loved her reasons for making this film. All in all I am glad I bought it, and I know I will watch it again. Anything that celebrates a female's power to seduce and be, frankly, gorgeously feminine, I love. And this film is no exception to that rule, tho I'd love to see a part two that's even grittier.
on July 17, 2013
I thought this documentary was inspiring and sexy-cute. It had lots of great professional performances in a variety of burlesque styles with FANTASTIC costumes while sharing the progress of the students of the students at Seattle's Academy of Burlesque. The people come from all walks of life--all ages, sizes, shapes, and genders--a wonderful celebration of human sexuality. Watching this documentary makes it look like so much fun that next thing you know, you will be coming up with your own routine in front of your bathroom mirror!