“A massacre in mascara,” is how it’s been described in the press. Pregnant brides, Virgin Madonnas and the occasional giant banana all coming together to raise money for women … and arm wrestling. And now it’s coming to Chicago film screens.
The Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers (AKA CLAW) is part theater, part sports event, all crazy –drawing enormous crowds with all proceeds going to support local charities. And now it’s spreading like cooties; with sister branches in Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, New Orleans, Washington DC, Durham, Taos … and Chicago, thanks to Master of Ceremonies Rokke L. Squelch (AKA Karrie Miller) and Chicago’s Sideshow Theater Company.
The CLAW documentary will be screening at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave) at 10:00pm on Friday, March 14th, with fun and surprises and followed by a Q&A with film co-director Brian Wimer.
Started in the sleepy college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, The Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers (AKA CLAW), is spreading like cooties; with sister branches in Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, New Orleans, Charlottesville, Washington DC, Durham, Taos, and Chicago. Part Theater, part sports event, all crazy, CLAW draws enormous crowds with all proceeds going to support local charities.
But leave the frivolity at the door. These ladies are risking more than their stereotypes by taking the stage. And it’s not always pretty as a French biracial, dancer/singer silent-film pornstar. This spring, favored-contender Achilles Hella suffered a complete fracture of her upper arm’s humerus, while competing against former-winner Tragedy Anne. Twelve screws and a steel plate later, she’s training to compete again, heading toward the upcoming CLAW Nationals.
This landmark documentary I’m doing with photo superstar Billy Hunt covers CLAW from its birth to national phenomenon, beyond the bustiers and burqas. Who are the iconoclastic women behind the movement and the wrestling personalities who grip up for philanthropic glory (this ain’t your mother’s Junior League)? Is it the fourth wave of feminism or the latest form of burlesque? And what’s with the Ref?
In this modern vaudeville, CLAW skirts the edges of entertainment, delving into social critique of contemporary women’s empowerment – all seen through the eyes of the people who go hand to hand, moment by moment, coast to coast. And when the CLAW Roadshow hits the pavement, the action may literally be coming to a theater near you.
This is just a little taste of what’s to come.