ARTWORK

Reno Dakota, American Fabulous, Film
American Fabulous

1992

Poster for West Coast premier at the Roxy Cinema on card stock

17 x 11 inches

Contact gallery for price.

From the Advocate (July 8, 2003):
“Believe me, nobody could make this up, and if they did, why would they want to?”

So goes Jeffrey Strouth’s most self-summarizing bon mot from American Fabulous, a low-fi documentary of a garrulous gay man “spontaneously performing” the story of his tumultuous life as he’s driven around his native Ohio in the backseat of a ’57 Cadillac by friend and producer Reno Dakota.

A cult favorite since its release in 1992, “American Fabulous” continues to enthrall. In a post-Jerry Springer culture of anything-goes reality TV, the film now seems both quaint and prophetic. There are no gimmicks—just a car, a camera, and Strouth’s storytelling panache to make “American Fabulous” a must-see historical document of gay life on the margins during the age of AIDS.

To survive, Strouth turned to prostitution, hitchhiking, sleeping in cars, working in New York City nightclubs, and “waitressing.” From life with an abusive father to co-hosting a lesbian Tupperware party (forget everything you know about potato salad) Strouth rarely comes off as unbelievable. His folkloric tales of “all the biker trash, all the white trash, all the drug trash, and all the trash trash” transcend vulgarity because Strouth (who died of AIDS before the film’s release) swan-sings them with a delicate mix of love, mockery, and zero sentimentality.

G.E.

Work by Reno Dakota