Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (DVD Review)

DVD Review of the awesome documentary following the lesbian, yodelling, twin sister singing act Lynda and Jools Topp.

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Dir: Leanne Pooley
Documentary on the lesbian, yodelling, twin sister singing act Lynda and Jools Topp
New Zealand, 2011

I remember hearing the buzz for Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls after it played at TIFF'09 and it was across-the-board praise, so I was thrilled to catch it while it played at Inside Out in 2010. The praise was so good that I couldn't help but be curious to look into the film more, and turns out its a documentary on the lesbian, yodelling, twin sister singing act Lynda and Jools Topp. It's certainly the only doc I've seen centred on lesbian, yodeling, singing, twin sisters, and that might be a good thing as it sets the bar so high I don't think film could stand up to the competition. Not that the sisters would mind, they are genuinely 100% good-natured, fun-loving, filled with joy people that speak up and out on issues from equal rights to the environment. It's so refreshing to see them take these issues head on with a positive spin to things, and equally spend time making the world a better place and making everyone feel comfortable and welcome in it. All the praise for the film is bang on and well-deserved for this spirited and inspiring documentary. Did I mention the yodelling? It's awesome too.

I'm amazed and the number of times I've thought of this film since first viewing and the impact it's has as a continual source for inspiration, positivity and good-natured humour as well as the powerful directness of facing things on head-on. There is a beautiful openness with the film and with the spirit of the girls that sticks with you in the most wonderful well. It provides a powerful and genuinely positive viewing experience that is like no other. I highly recommend checking it out.

DVD Extras:
  • "Beginnings" Featurette (24 minutes) additional performance footage & interviews with Lynda and Jools Topp and family members including the story of their birth, stories from their early childhood and early experiences with music, performing and singing; plus early family memories from games they would play to bath time to injuries, their brother Bruce and success.
  • Interviews & Deleted Scenes (6 interviews, 3 scenes for a total of 23 minutes) interviews with Student Arts Council Brian Sweeney, director Leanne Pooley including why to do a Topp Twins movie, musicians Dave Dobbyn & Tim Finn on performance and fearlessness, satirist John Clarke commenting on their performances and the characters they create, and comedian Emma Lange as well as 3 deleted scenes: Fishing with Davey Hughes, Jailbirds 1989 and performance of the song Paradise. A really great extra scenes and interviews including calling someone out on if a story was true or not,
  • Trailer
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is available on DVD as of October 11, 2011 on Amazon.ca and November 8, 2011 on Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I eagerly will watch it again and again
I highly & widely recommend

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010-11
See also: original review from the 2010 Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival - May 21, 2010

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