Back-to-back Drag: A Day of Mario Montez

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Former Warhol superstar Mario Montez will be honored in a one-day  tribute to his trannylicious career. Some of his most popular cult-stamped films, including Jack Rivera‘s Flaming Creatures and both parts of Mario Banana (one of his biggest Factory movies), will be screened during the aptly-titled Superstar! conference, which will take place today.

Born in 1935 in Puerto Rico, the queen formerly known as René Rivera borrowed his moniker from Dominican film goddess María Montez. He moved to New York as a child, and caught the eye of director Jack Rivera in 1961. Shortly after, Warhol got a hold of him and turned Mario into one of his 13 “superstars” — and the only one to do so while in drag. He also became a darling of underground theater, doing Theatre of the Ridiculous productions by Charles Ludlam, Ronald Tavel and John Vaccaro.

Below is the program for the conference, which will take place at the Columbia University Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Hall (538 West 120th Street). Montez himself will be attending, as the guest of a discussion that will take place at 3:30 p.m.
Superstar!: A Tribute to Mario Montez
March 31, 2010

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Screening: Mario Banana I (Andy Warhol, 1964)
Welcome and opening remarks: Frances Negrón-Muntaner (Columbia)

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.
Multiple Exposures: Mario Montez in Context
Callie Angel (Whitney Museum): “A Belated Appreciation of M.M.”
Arnaldo Cruz Malavé (Fordham): “Between Irony and Adoration: The
Hyperbolic Performances of Mario Montez”
Ricardo Montez (Princeton): “Siren at the Chelsea: A Disruptive Tenant
in the Legacy of Queer New York”
Moderator: Branden Joseph (Columbia)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. BREAK

1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Close Ups: Mario Montez in Film and Theater
Douglas Crimp (RIT): “Mother Camp”
Ronald Gregg (Yale): “Mario’s Television, Thrift Stores, and the Space of Pleasure”
Carmelita Tropicana (performance artist, New York): “Pingalito Intervention”
Moderator: Maja Horn (Barnard)

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Screenings: Mario Banana II (Andy Warhol, 1964) and Life, Death and Assumption of Lupe Vélez (José Rodríguez Soltero, 1966)

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Conversations with Mario: Mario Montez, Agosto Machado, and Marc Siegel (Free University, Berlin)

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.