Annie Complex | Chicago Reader

Annie Complex

The cleverest thing about this 26-minute video is its title, which suggests both a complex analysis of Little Orphan Annie and the phenomenon of wanting to be the little urchin—having an “Annie complex.” But the video itself, by local artists Stacy Goldate and K.J. Mohr, seems less complex than confused. A lovely documentary about women's attitudes toward the character (one woman observes, “What was that? These are orphans! They are poor! They are not cheerful!”) is combined with two weak silent narratives, one about auditions for the role and the other about two prospective Annies who battle their way to friendship and love (in costume). Having drag queens run the audition seems gratuitous, though the directors probably intended to make some point about the femininity of helpless children and male stage mothers. The piece about the costumed little girls—described in the filmmakers' synopsis as “a good old-fashioned narrative of pre-out baby dyke rivalry turned sweet”—doesn't seem to connect with the film as a whole.

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