BURLINGTON - Glen or Glenda? That was the question posed by Director Ed Wood's fascinating, but frequently unfathomable, 1953 film about a man who dresses like a woman and has an angora fetish.
Although Wood made the semi-autobiographical movie to enlighten rather than to exploit, the acting and technology are abysmal. Movie critic Leonard Maltin labels Wood's sincere effort "possibly the worst movie ever made."
Sometimes, of course, horribly-made films are fun to watch. "Glen or Glenda" is no exception.
Transgender films have come a long way in the last half-century.
Hillary Swank took home an Oscar for Best Leading Actress in "Boys Don't Cry" (1999), a film based on the life of female-to-male Brandon Teena. And Felicity Huffman won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe, for her poignant portrayal of a pre-op male-to-female transsexual in "Transamerica" (2005).
S. Bear Bergman and Scott Turner Schofield sought to follow the best transgender tradition at FlynnSpace Nov. 8 when they presented "Becoming a Man...Testosterone and Transgression."
Bergman, a Jew, and Schofield, a Southerner, are both transgender female-to-male performers.
In "Becoming a Man," the two engage in heritage-based storytelling to describe the many steps they've taken on their gender identity paths.
Treating the enthusiastic audience to Southern sweet sun tea, rugelach, and Oreos, Schofield and Bergman challenge basic gender assumptions with funny and moving tales of exploration and discovery. They express the joy of finding yourself, whatever you are.
The audience sang and danced with them and collected prizes for completing Bingo cards.
Go to YouTube.com to hear Bergman read "I Know What Butch Is" and to see Schofield expound on the many variations of human identity.
While you're at YouTube, watch the trailer and some excerpts from "Glen or Glenda." If you're tempted to watch the entire movie, you can rent the VHS version from Waterfront Video, 370 Shelburne Rd., 802-660-5545.
Watch "Glen or Glenda" and you'll see how good a really bad movie can be!