Reviewed by Paula Citron
September 19, 2011
Leave It on the Floor
Toronto International Film Festival
Directed by Sheldon Larry
Choreographed by Frank Gatson, Jr.
Performed by Ephraim Sykes, Miss Barbie-Q, Phillip Evelyn, James Alsop and Andre Myers
Sept. 8 to 18, 2011
Another TIFF dance-film is Toronto-born, producer/director Sheldon Larry’s Leave It on the Floor, a musical about Los Angeles’ ball culture scene. The title means getting rid of your negative baggage.
Ball-culture is a big life style item among what Larry calls the throwaways and the runaways – mostly Black and Latino gay men who dress up for runway competitions, or balls.
They organize themselves into fashion houses, design their own costumes, and vie for trophies in such categories as “Best Executive Realness”, “Schoolboy Realness” and “Sex Siren”. Balls are a haute couture/dance show extravaganza.
The hero of Larry’s film is Brad, a young black man whose mother throws him out of the house when she finds out he’s gay. The story may be slight, but the engaging cast is drawn from the ball culture and invest themselves totally in the characters.
The soundtrack features great original songs that advance the plot, and the eye-catching choreography is by Frank Gatson, Jr. who works with Beyonce.
It’s a fun film.