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Dancing at the Blue Iguana 2001

R CC

At the Blue Iguana, LA's most notorious strip club, the lives of five exotic dancers converge, clash and ultimately bond over the course of one week. This glimpse into the oft-misunderstood world of the strip club bares each girl inside and out, both onstage and off, providing an insight to the story behind the dance.

Starring:
Charlotte Ayanna, Kristin Bauer van Straten
Runtime:
2 hours, 3 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Mystery
Director Michael Radford
Starring Charlotte Ayanna, Kristin Bauer van Straten
Supporting actors W. Earl Brown, Daryl Hannah, Chris Hogan, Sheila Kelley, Elias Koteas, Vladimir Mashkov, Sandra Oh, Rodney Rowland, Jennifer Tilly, Robert Wisdom, David Amos, Carolyne Aycaguer, R.C. Bates, Jesse Bradford, Christina Cabot, Bill Chott, Maurice Compte, Jack Conley
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
OK, so Dancing at the Blue Iguana features wall-to-wall naked gyrating women. But don't let that put you off. Despite the subject matter - the lives of five strippers who work in the eponymous club (played by Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly, Sheila Kelley, Charlotte Ayanna and Sandra Oh) - and the frequent nudity, Blue Iguana is not a T&A movie. Rather, it's a compelling insight into the lives of the underclass of Los Angeles, or indeed, any one of the world's major cities.
If your cinematic tastes run to tightly plotted fare where all the loose ends are tied up with a big gift-wrap bow in the last five minutes, you'll probably it find frustrating. But if you can appreciate a film in which some issues are never quite resolved and some questions are never quite answered - just like real life - then you may be seduced by the Blue Iguana.
The film has been panned by so many critics that I must admit I started watching the DVD with some trepidation, expecting to be embarrassed for the actors. But I became so engrossed in the world of the Blue Iguana that I was actually disappointed when the film ended.
The DVD is very professionally produced. Features include a commentary from director Michael Radford; a second commentary from stars Sheila Kelley, Sandra Oh and Robert Wisdom (who plays the Blue Iguana boss Eddie); Strip Notes, a documentary by Daryl Hannah on how she researched her character in the LA strip club Crazy Girls; and some deleted takes and alternative scenes.
Much of the criticism of Blue Iguana is based on the fact that it was made without a script. The actors started with only two things: the title of the film and the fact that it was set in a strip club.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Too many people (including myself) passed this by upon its release, and thankfully with the advent of Video and DVD, it may get a second shot at life.
Cast off any aspersions that this is another T&A movie. There is nudity, but it's (for the most part) tastefully done, and not always gratuitous. Unlike such moronic fare as "Striptease" or "Coyote Ugly", this film aspires to much higher ground, more along the lines of Atom Egoyan's brilliant "Exotica".
*side note* like that film, it includes a lot of Leonard Cohen and features noted Canadian character actor Elias Koteas! Coincidence?
Daryl Hannah acquits herself admirably, and Jennifer Tilly does a great job of combining pathos and comedy (the S&M scene is hysterical), but the standout here is Canadian actress Sandra Oh ("Last Night"), who plays outside of type and has you alternatively seduced and saddened along with her character.
Not to be ignored; rent it, then tell a friend. Films like this are few and far between.
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Prior to watching this, I expected something on par with "Striptease" or "Showgirls," which are films about stripping that also attempt to legitimize their titillation by tossing in dramatic subplots. Even with earnest intentions, films of this sort usually end up being clichéd and disappointing. Adding to my trepidation was the fact I had never heard of this film, which was released in 2000, prior to 2006. I finally took a chance on it and gladly admit that it really drew me in and convinced me to care about the characters. Like most people, these women only want to find love and something real in life, yet have lost their centers. Indeed, it is the actresses' portrayals of these characters that make each disappointment and set-back so painful to watch. Sandra Oh really moved me with her performance as Jasmine, a would-be poet who sabotages her own happiness because she has come to believe she cannot trust anyone, including herself. Her performance as a sensitive, intelligent person is the most tragic among these lives because she lacks the confidence to escape her current situation, even though she easily could. As Angel, Darryl Hannah is wonderful as a helplessly dim and hopelessly optimistic dreamer. (She also looks unbelievably fit!) Jennifer Tilly is also very good as the out of control Jo, a woman who tries desperately to win in a man's world, but comes to realize the playing field is not level. Charlotte Ayanna is remarkable as Jessie, an eager to please naïf, who has not yet had her spirit crushed by the weight of the world. Come to think of it, it does all sound very clichéd and there really isn't much of a plot to tie it all together, just several subplots. Nonetheless, the acting is exceptional, made all the more impressive by the fact much of it is improvised.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Dancing at the Blue Iguana is a film whose story was developed during a five month improvisational workshop run by director Michael Radford. The story centers around the Blue Iguana, your average seedy strip club, this one located in a faceless semi industrial area of the San Fernando valley part of LA. Each of the lead actors developed their own character and storyline based on their own research.

There have been a couple of pathetic attempts by Hollywood to make a film about the world of strip clubs, namely Showgirls and Demi Moore's abhorrent Striptease, but both of those failed miserably. Dancing at the Blue Iguana succeeds brilliantly. Walk into any average to below average strip club in America and you'll find stories that are not at all dissimilar from the stories developed by the Blue Iguana's five dancers all played brilliantly by Darryl Hannah, Sandra Oh, Charlotte Ayanna, Shiela Kelly and Jennifer Tilly.

The one story element that sticks out as overly fantastic is that of the Russian hit man played by Vladimir Mashkov, who because his target is being held for questioning by the FBI, is stuck in a hotel next to the club and falls for Darryl Hannah's character because he sees her smoking outside the club all the time. But if you replace the Russian hit man with a businessman stuck in town for a week, it still makes sense, and would be much more believable.

Robert Wisdom who plays Eddie, the owner of the club, and W. Earl Brown, who plays his right hand man, Bobby, both do a wonderful job in this movie as well. The camera work is first rate and does a fantastic job capturing the unscripted dialogue. The soundtrack is perfect for this film.
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