Twins are Topps: Fairy Tales opening night
Calgary’s twelfth annual Fairy Tales Film Festival at The Plaza in Kensington opened last night with a bang featuring the documentary The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. As soon as we saw the trailer with yodelling, lesbian, twins my friends and I knew we had to check it out!
Untouchable Girls documents the lives of twins Jools and Lynda Topp of New Zealand. Using their humour and musical talents the Topp Twins have come to be one of the best known acts in not only New Zealand but the world. In 2008 the twins were inducted into New Zealand’s Music Hall of Fame.
The documentary took in $2 million in New Zealand making it the top documentary ever for it’s country and also opened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009.
Director Leanne Pooley (an ex BBC documentary filmmaker) doesn’t use a narrator in Untouchable Girls but merely lets the girls themselves and the people most important in their lives tell their story. The twin’s parents are adorable when being interviewed, especially when it comes to the twins coming out stories. Footage included from the 80’s to a couple years ago shows two women who have never been afraid to be themselves and have never been afraid to fight for what they believe in.
In a Topp Twins press pack Pooley says, ” Lynda and Jools Topp are truly unique. It’s not every day you get to work with yodelling, lesbian, comedian, twin sisters. To top this off their story is incredible in its richness, variety and depth. I wasn’t long involved with the project before I realized I was making a film that was not just a profile of talented individuals but a story that traversed the history and tenacity of an entire nation.”
Interspersed throughout the film as well, are cameo’s by the various characters played by the twins and featured both on stage as well as the Topp Twins television series Do Not Adjust Your Twinset. Camp Leader and Camp Mother are a for sure to check out…the twins are epically funny in all their material.
“In any kind of political movement there’s always a song that maybe makes people feel brave or strong.” – Jools Topp
From their rise as buskers to a headlining act the twins have been activists for causes from nuclear disarmament to gay and lesbian rights to fighting South Africa’s apartheid (by interrupting a Springbok rugby match) to supporting the Maori people of New Zealand. Most recently the Twins have put their energy into the fight against breast cancer.
Jools was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy to fight the disease. When watching a film so full of laughs the Untouchable Girls brings a heavy dose of reality with the battle that Jools goes through with Lynda by her side. Although I think only the Topp Twins could do so with their signature humour still intact. At one point near the end of the film Lynda speaks about how they thought about writing a song about breast cancer but, “cancer’s the hardest word to rhyme with anything.”
Truly one of those films that will make you laugh and will even make you cry.
Next up for Fairy Tales today, Friday, May 28 are the films Undertow directed by Javier Fuentes-Leon at 7 p.m. and Plan B directed by Marco Berger at 9:15 at The Plaza.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls trailer…