My recommendation of Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts comes with a bit of a bias.
For the past couple of months, the only television I’ve watched are episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ever since my wife hooked me with the show’s infamous first season, we have since binge-watched every season available on Netflix, and have become obsessed with the latest UK chapter of the show (now available to stream on Crave). We’re now taking a crack at the American All-Star editions – we’re currently on season three which sees the return of Milwaukee’s Trixie Mattel (aka. Brian Firkus), a comedy queen with a witty sense of humour and a knack for playing folk music.
This particular season is a prime focus in Nicholas Zweig-Owens’ documentary Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, a title that also references Trixie’s touring show of folk music and stand-up comedy. The film captures the periods between Mattel’s first outing on the popular reality competition show and her second, more successful run. When she wasn’t featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Mattel faced a heart-wrenching fallout with fellow queen Katya Zamolodchikova during the run of their talk show; a friendship fracture that caused the queen to struggle during her own tour.
Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts is more of a fly-on-the-wall experience than a traditional formal doc, which is great for someone like me who wanted to observe the lifestyle of Drag Race alum. It’s practically my own personal companion piece. Though, I realize the film may be less interesting for someone on the outs of this specific pop culture movement. But considering the film is produced by the same team behind Drag Race, Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts was made solely for fans of the show and its contestants.
The film doesn’t shy away from intimacy which, I believe, will be appreciated by all audiences. Firkus lets his guard down to allow movie goers access to his life and interests outside of drag. Most entertainers would be scared to be this vulnerable on camera. But with Firkus, he recognizes the importance of authenticity – a raw quality that makes this documentary a must-see for loyal fans of Trixie Mattel and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie