Playland conjures a time-bending night in Boston’s oldest and most notorious gay bar. Featuring an eclectic ensemble of queer performers, including drag icon Lady Bunny and Pose‘s Danielle Cooper, the transdisciplinary film sees music, dance, archival footage, tableaux, opera, and performance art layered into an ethereal piece subverting all boundaries. The work of queer fantasy and history takes place inside the empty husk of the Playland Café. Although the cafe shut down in the late ’90s, West stages one last bawdy night on the town for the ghosts of their LGBTQ+ ancestors.
Demolished but never forgotten, the Playland Café provided a meeting ground for an exceptionally diverse crowd — throughout its lifespan, it featured acts from drag performances to DJ sets and was connected to Pride rallies and underground gay newspapers. As a gathering place for outsiders, it was also a target for police raids and zoning redevelopment projects.
Playland premiered at Rotterdam followed by Tribeca.
Adjectives used to describe the film include: "...transdisciplinary," "...expressionist," "...an ethereal piece subverting all boundaries...," "...an uncanny and eclectic film..."
Directed by Georden West, English, 72 minutes, English