You might be wondering what in the what is going on in the above amuse-bouche for your eyeballs. Don’t worry. Tending to this little corner of the interwebs means I get that a lot. Anyways, if I told you it was part of an opening number to the 80s Italian variety television show (and home to the inimitably batshit crazy, transcendentally dazzling dance stylings of Sara Carlson) Al Paradiso, would that be enough to entice you to entice you to watch what magic lies ahead after the jump? Or that Elisa Scarrone’s “The Jungle Law” is the most flamboyantly gay/European circus-themed event this side of a White Party inspired by a Siegfried & Roy show as interpreted by a K-hole? If that’s not enough to get your bouche amused, y’all, I don’t know what is, so let’s all sit down and watch Elisa Scarrone perform “The Jungle Law.”
Once, not so long ago, I discovered the ferocious dance magic of 80s Italian variety show superstar Sara Carlson, and it was fabulous. Sure, she set an impossibly high bar by which all others must be judged (sorry, Bonnie Bianco), but Sara Carlson busts moves worth the mind-blowing paradigm shift that will force you to recalibrate your feeble understandings of reality and consciousness. I imagine it’s like dropping acid, but without the whole mess of making your spinal fluid run backwards.
Anyways, while we may never match the inimitable batshit insanity of Sara Carlson’s days on Al Paradise, it’s comforting to also be reminded that Italian television’s well of crazy runs deep. Like, ridiculously deep:
The best I can tell, Tilt is some sort of disco-era dance competition, which explains why everybody’s dancing around in a discotheque straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And the Dali-meets-Magritte floating-apple backgrounds (sure). As well as the two separate instances where Stefania Rotolo flies around on a piano (of course?). You know, the usual imagery for a disco competition. When you’re on angel dust.
Judging by the next clip, though, perhaps Tilt is actually a children’s variety program:
Allow Me to Introduce Bonnie Bianco, the Sara Carlson of 80s German Variety Television
November 16, 2009
In case you’ve yet to witness the combustible magic of Sara Carlson, the Al Paradise sensation who’s inimitable song and dance stylings have won hearts and blown minds over here at Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner, then you’d best correct that terrible life choice. Immediately. Seriously, it couldn’t be easier. Just click here and here, and make sure you’ve a box full of Kleenex ready for all those tears of joy. All done? Great! Then moving right along.
So this weekend, Skynet YouTube Recommendations once again read my mind and suggested this little number below, “Circo Circo” by Bonnie Bianco. It may not be Sara Carlson, I thought, but Al Paradise‘s own brand of early-80s carnivalesque psychedelic tranny insanity is enough to make any performer a star, mais oui?
Maybe it’s that Bonnie Bianco’s moves are like something out of the beginner’s course at the Sara Carlson Academy of Batshit Fabulous Ridicudancing, but I also place a lot of the blame on the clowns. They’re never anything but a recipe for nightmares, so let’s all blame the clowns. And the fact that every great star needs a great a director.
It seems to me that Italian variety television just doesn’t know how to make Bonnie Bianco shine. Fortunately enough, much like von Sternberg made Dietrich, so too has the sauerkraut-and-bratwurst touch of German’s Rotkreuz-Gala transformed Bonnie Bianco into a sensation:
Of all the curios I’ve come across the internet since beginning this blog, the kinetic wonder that is Sara Carlson is indubitably a personal favorite. For the camp aficionado, watching her dance is a transcendental, yet enigmatic, experience. She moves in ways that are positively superhuman, her facial expressions are like tractor beams determined to pull you into her orbit of fabulousness, and those costumes are simply out of control. At the same time, there’s so little information about Sara Carlson that she’s practically like the Loch Ness Monster of camp pleasure. We have document occurrences but little substantial information to support or explain her existence.
How did she find herself in Italy, and where did she go after her stint on Al Paradise? What’s she been up to in the past two-and-a-half decades, and where is she now? While many of these questions demand answers, I’m quite pleased to say that I can at least vouch for Sara Carlson’s existence. We’ve made contact, and she walks among us! Seriously, check it out:
And not only has she found us, but we can now find her whenever we want thanks to the wonders of MySpace. Thanks, outdated social network of the early aughts!
Even better, though, is that her MySpace has several more videos posted, and–dare I say it? Yes, I do dare!–they’re even more incredible than the last round. I hope you like your paradigms shifted, because that’s what these videos will do.
Just watch this poetry in motion:
I recognize that, in the era of YouTube clips, what probably made sense in a particular time to a particular group of people is reintroduced to the world in a contextual vacuum. Without meaning, these videos become a veritable playground for camp, a place where the indecipherable message is the first language of ironic detachment and surface aesthetics the currency of visual pleasure. As such, perhaps I’m inherently biased towards this Fellini-meets-Lady-Gaga pinnacle of unadulterated, uninhibited batshit insanity. Whatever.
None of that changes the fact that Sara Carlson is not merely fierce; she’s full on ferocious. Also, we can all agree that the only thing that could make this video better is if she looked like a tranny streetwalker who styled herself a member of Jem and the Holograms. Fortunately for us, such a video exists: