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Review: The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Feel-good variety
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 29, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

New Zealand pop culture goes beyond Peter Jackson, as we discover in this documentary about a beloved lesbian comedy-cabaret country-western sister act. Leanne Pooley's portrait gives us performance footage of twins Lynda and Jools Topp that ranges from the '80s, when they were mulleted farm girls busking in the city; to their '90s sketch-comedy TV show; to a recent return to the stage after one twin faced a health challenge. The Topps are a hoot as they discuss a career that's an extension of their passion for singing songs, creating satiric characters (male and female), and working for social justice. Testimonials come from their proud parents; as well as from gay, feminist, anti-nuke, and Maori activists, and from Billy Bragg, who praises their "anarchist variety act." Pooley's approach is a bit paint-by-numbers, but her film is upbeat without being calculatedly feel-good. Not only will the duo's yodeling linger in your mind — so will their high spirits.

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  Topics: Reviews , documentary, film, Film reviews
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