Twilight Dancers | Chicago Reader

Twilight Dancers

Fans of the late Philippine director Lino Brocka will recognize the genre he created with Macho Dancer (1988), a groundbreaking exploration of the lives of beautiful young Filipino men who work as strippers in Manila gay bars. Their lives are nasty, brutish, and short, as they try to support their families while navigating a world of sexual exploitation, corruption, drugs, and murder. Mel Chionglo's Twilight Dancers alternates titillating scenes of the androgynously attractive boys dancing onstage (followed by minty backstage banter) with scenes of the soap opera surrounding three of them. There's the pretty ingenue Dwight; the aging Alfred, who has a deaf wife and tiny child to support; and the past-it Bert, now working as a bodyguard and driver for a ruthless, anything-goes business tycoon (Cherry Pie Picache). The sociology mixes a trifle uneasily with the erotica. In Tagalog with subtitles. 105 min.

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