'Carousella' is a short 1966 documentary by John Irvin. Controversial in its time, it features film profiles of three strippers, who talk freely about their lives and aspirations outside of their job, before showing them at work. It's quite a thoughtful film, nicely abstract, and the subjects are all sympathetic, although the decision to show the girls nude slightly undercuts the message that these women are real people, not just g stringed pieces of meat. Smut sells, however, no matter how worthy the intention.
|The stars of our show...|
|In case you were wondering, Tina is bowling.|
|On The Town.|
Tina is 21, and started stripping as a dare. She likes trousers and apples. She likes American men because they are never miserable and are out for a good laugh. Her strip routine is extraordinary: she gleefully marches up and down the stage in a horsewoman's hat, all the time grinning and stomping back and forth like a manic six year old at a party on a terminal sugar rush. As she takes off her bra, she holds it happily in the air and waves it from side to side like a football fan. It's a totally unerotic experience.
|Hair raising do.|
|Doing it for the kids.|
|Julie at work.|
Julie is 24, and is married with two small children. Her husband Wally is an accomplished ballroom dancer, and she has a show business background. She has extraordinary backcombed hair. She strips to provide for her children, and her idea of a good time is to be at home. Her routine involves a sequined costume and a feather boa, is quite theatrical and, in a way, subtle - her key note is that you can be sexy without being crude. What she dislikes is the men, particularly their remarks.
|What Katy did.|
|What Katy did next.|
Katy is 26, and half Arab. She used to be a child spy in Palestine. She has a little dog and an Italian croupier boyfriend called Romano who can obviously be a bit of an arsehole, but she likes him because his constant changes of mood keep her confused and interested in him all the time. Her hair is coiffured into a luxurious bouffant. She constantly worries about hurting people. Her strip is to a limp version of 'La Bamba' but is the most overtly sexual of the three, mainly because she pouts and gyrates and rubs herself a lot more whilst seemingly lost in a private reverie, and because I fancy her the most.
The last word comes from Tina: 'I like being free, and most of all I like to be myself to do what I want'. Seems fair enough, doesn't it?