Saturday, April 20, 2024
HomeReviews MoviesCarol Doda Topless at the Condor movie review (2024)

Carol Doda Topless at the Condor movie review (2024)

Although the film is ostensibly about Doda’s life, from her first monokini-clad topless dance atop the Condor’s piano in the early 1964 to her final days of public life in the 2010s, the filmmakers use her story as a springboard to tell a larger tale of cultural shifts in America, as well as the specific history of the nightclubs that illuminate the night in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. In this way, the film sometimes reminded me of Sara Driver’s “Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” which used the late teenager years of singular artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to examine the artistic and sociopolitical scene of downtown New York City in the late-1970s and early 1980s. Like Basquiat, Doda became the focal point for a moment in history. 

With her thick cat-eye makeup, platinum blonde hair, and white leotard Doda stood out amongst the other cocktail waitresses of the neighborhood. Eager to be an entertainer — no matter the cost — Doda started her career innocently enough, dancing on the Condor’s white baby grand piano. Eventually the club’s owner rejiggered the instrument to lower it down from the ceiling, with Doda on top. After the invention of the monokini swimsuit by fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, a savvy press agent suggested Carol wear it while she did her act. In 1964 this made Doda the first female dancer to perform topless in the United States. 

This moment is put into context via interviews with other dancers from the scene, as well as cultural sociologist Sarah Thornton, who suggests that swimsuits themselves were an “interesting garment when it comes to the history of female liberation.” From this landmark moment, which begat various topless acts—including topless shoeshine girls—the doc traces the various obscenity trials the performers and club owners faced in its wake. 

As these performers made history, they also found themselves pressured to push the envelope further and further. Archival interviews with Doda, as well as new interviews with other dancers, discuss their pioneering use of injectable silicone to augment their breasts. Doda herself is said to have gone from a B cup to a 44 DD, and later in life was cheekily introduced as “two the City’s most famous landmarks.” What’s so refreshing about this sequence is that not only does it cover the history of breast augmentation and the horrific consequences these early techniques had on women’s bodies, but it also allows the women to speak for themselves about their choices. “I give them a fantasy, people need that,” Doda tells one interviewer. 

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend bsm weekend