Manila's "macho dancer" scene, with scantily clad young men performing erotic dance routines for male and female patrons, some of whom pay extra for private one-on-one time with the dancers, provides the setting for Twilight Dancers. In particular, we focus on Dwight, an orphan and high-school dropout. Dwight falls in with the aptly named Madam Loca ("crazy lady"), whose many business interests are all illegal and highly dangerous. We see the ups and downs, and some of the harsh realities of the home lives of the dancers. The dancers are beautiful and sensual, elements of the story are compelling, and there were several funny moments; however, watching this film you might think that Filipino culture demands that men have out-of-control explosive tempers and women lapse into hysterical elation or hysterical self-pity or hysterical rage at the drop of a hat. Seriously, is the whole country made up of nothing but macho assholes and drama queens? Only Dwight seems capable of keeping an even keel for more than five minutes at a time, and the over-the-top antics of the other characters begin to wear thin.
Twilight Dancers, dir. Mel Chionglo, 2006 Philippines, 100 min., in Tagalog with English subtitles
Technorati tags: Twilight Dancers, Frameline, Frameline31, Philippines, LGBT Film, Macho Dancers