From the first shot, Brian Firkus aka Trixie unboxes a huge curly purple wig. A true metaphor for her life from the start, surprising audiences and fans again and again. The film follows Trixie as she preps for tours, viewing parties, DragCon all the while still being her humorous and raunchy self.
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A deep dive into the everyday life of something that the audience only sees the final performance of; after it has been practiced to death and becomes automatic for the artist. Seeing the ugly and grueling side of drag is a rare and sometimes unwanted thing to see in the drag world, but necessary. ‘Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts’ is her diary for a period of time as she goes through change, success, loss, and most importantly growth.
Staying in touch with your roots
Throughout the film, folk music can be heard accompanying the images while becoming a diegetic sound showing Trixie playing the guitar or the electronic harp. It’s not every day that a drag queen can also carry a folk tune, but that is who Brian is. Growing up in Wisconsin dirt poor, he learned how to play the guitar and realized later that he could use that talent. Becoming a lovable parody of Dolly Parton.
As the guitar strumming plays during the film, it brings the audience closer and deeper into the unique world that Trixie is created into without forgetting who the puppet master is. Brian shares his home life and how being raised affects his drag every day, even down to using the name Trixie. Using this music was an incredibly smart choice, giving the feeling of humbleness rather than constantly thinking of fame and fortune.
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‘Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts’ – Transformation
Surface level, this is about the ups and downs of a successful drag queen’s career as it lifts off to endless possibilities. What it’s really about is transformation. Drag itself is a clear transformation as (in most cases) a man transforms himself into a woman with the help of make-up and costume. The camera captures this as Brian pulls the corset tighter and glues his outrageous eyelashes on. He fully becomes her… Trixie. In the film, he quotes Rupual saying, “He’s an introvert dressed up like an extrovert. And I always feel like that too”. The self-love and admiration flip like a switch once the physical transformation is done, triggering the personality transformation. Constantly in front of a mirror reminding herself that she is the most beautiful queen on this planet. As the film goes on and she gets in and out of drag, it is clear to see the character from the person.
This film gives fans a chance to take a break from laughter and find out who Trixie is and where she came from. Trixie is one to leave everything out on the table, the opposite to the more timid side of Brian. A man who wants his family taken care of and keep his friends healthy and happy. This film title has the name Trixie Mattel, but it could have been called Brian Firkus.
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On the podcast, The Bald and the Beautiful, featuring Trixie Mattel and Katya. An early episode was released where they interviewed the director of Moving Parts, Nicholas Zeig-Owens. Who also happens to be Trixie’s boyfriend. It was stated during the interview, that Nick and his producer David Silver were not allowed to discuss the documentary in front of Trixie. She didn’t want to know and it would be better if she weren’t involved in the actual process of having meetings and being in the editing suite.
It may be quite surprising hearing this since she is usually extensively involved and nothing less than a workaholic. Constant movement was captured on the screen as Trixie is getting shuffled from location to location and from coast to coast. With bright pink letters displaying “New York” “Los Angeles” back and forth touring and performing; simply showing what a non-stop lifestyle is.
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A Moment in Time
It is an exciting thing to capture a moment in time of a successful person that has changed and transformed even after the release. If you are a fan and followed her career from start to present, watching this documentary makes you laugh and anticipate for future Trixie and what is to come. And if you have never heard of her or Rupaul before, this is a perfect first step to have a taste of the Drag world.
Where to Watch
Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts is available to stream on Netflix now. It can also be rented/bought on YouTube, Amazon, and the Apple store.
Trixie Mattel can be seen next on the RuPaul’s Drag Race Youtube channel hosting The Pit Stop recapping All-Star’s season six alongside other notable drag queens each week.
“Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.”– Lady Gaga
By Jack Colin
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.