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DANCING AT THE BLUE IGUANA
USA: Lions Gate Films
UK: Miracle Communications
Cast: Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly, Sandra Oh, Sheila Kelley, Charlotte Ayanna, Christina Cabot, Elias Koteas, Vladimir Mashkov, Robert Wisdom, W Earl Brown, Chris Hogan, Rodney Rowland, Kristin Bauer, Bill Chott
Director: Michael Radford
USA: 121 mins
UK: 123 min
USA Rated: R for pervasive sexual content/nudity, language, some drug content and brief violence
UK Certificate: 18 contains frequent sex and nudity and strong language
USA Release Date: 19 October 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 21 June 2002
From the director Michael Radford who won the Best Foreign Film Academy Award for IL POSTINO in 1994 comes DANCING AT THE BLUE IGUANA which he also co-wrote and co-produced. The movie offers a rare glimpse in to the often-misunderstood world of the strip club, which is much more than the sum of its voyeuristic offerings. The Blue Iguana, in the heart of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, is a club where the glamour is tinged with decay, a crossroads where lives intersect and personas are donned and shed with equal equation.
DANCING AT THE BLUE IGUANA explores the stories of five dancers: Angel (Daryl Hannah) , attempts to qualify as a foster mother; Jasmine (Sandra Oh) , is a clandestine poet and finds love at the coffee house poetry reading; the least likely of the dancers, Jo (Jennifer Tilly), faces an unplanned pregnancy; Stormy (Sheila Kelley) finds her bewildering past looming before her in a familiar car parked outside the club; Jessie (Charlotte Ayanna), the newcomer attempts to negotiate her survival without losing sight of her dreams.
For Eddy (Robert Wisdom) who runs the Blue Iguana, an anonymous, plaintive phone message of a woman crying propels him for a moment outside his unexamined life. Meanwhile a Russian hit man checks into the motel next door and luckily for him finds himself staying a bit longer, well long enough to construct a fantasy about Angel, whom he observes from his motel window.
Yet despite the cataclysm of events and the prospects for change - not only for the dancers but for the men who work in the club as well - one has the sense that the dance continues. Behind the scenes we are able to glimpse the tears and laughter that make up the dance: at times absurd, at times heartbreaking, forever human.