Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Talking Trash and Truths: Cult-Classic Road-Trip Documentary American Fabulous Finally Makes Its Cable TV Debut

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Talking Trash and Truths: Cult-Classic Road-Trip Documentary American Fabulous Finally Makes Its Cable TV Debut

Article excerpt

American Fabulous

* Directed by Reno Dakota

* Sundance Channel

* Premieres June 30

"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.

A cult favorite since its release in 1992, American Fabulous will finally have its television premiere June 30 on cable's Sundance Channel. 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 There are no gimmicks--just a car, a camera, and Strouth's storytelling panache to make American Fabulous a must-see historical document of gay life on the margins.

To survive, Strouth turned to prostitution ("I thought it was real neat, I was real proud of myself at the time"), hitchhiking, sleeping in cars, working in New York clubs, and "waitressing. …

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