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“A mind-bending meditation on love and perseverance.”
— CinéWomen
 

Photo of Trixie & Monkey by Mike Lee, 2011

 

A pair of acrobatic burlesque performers attempt to juggle art, love and financial stability in this perceptive portrait. Following the effervescent Trixie and the puckish Monkey from their base in Baltimore to hone their skills at a New England circus school, to burlesque competitions in Las Vegas and, finally, to a new home in New York City, Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander explores the sacrifices made for one’s passion, the meaning of success and the strength that comes from partnership. ~ DOC NYC

 
“Expectations can sometimes limit the mind’s capacity to
embrace the totality of something unconditionally beautiful.”
— Britt Myers, Florida Keys Weekly
 

From the Filmmaker

Us, Naked is truly a story of the peculiar, weird and unpredictable glamor that is cherished and cultivated in Baltimore. It is also a message that anything is possible. Trixie opens the documentary by saying: Be careful not to make your dream too small, because then you're really screwed if you actually get it and it wasn't enough. Trixie and Monkey's story of uncompromising trust in their art unfolded before my eyes during a time that I too needed to believe in creativity, regardless of outer validation and apart from the odds of success. This common ground is the reason I could bear unwavering witness with my camera for almost seven years. We just kept filming till their story of seeking to balance love with unforgiving creative heights completely unfolded. On stage, Trixie and Monkey brilliantly deconstructed anything sexist, conformist, racist, homophobic, and gender limiting with clever-sexiness. These hilariously gorgeous shenanigans are cherished in our intimate documentary about not only making sure the dream was big enough -- but lived to the fullest degree along the way.  ~ Kirsten

 
  Kirsten filming a rehearsal at Load of Fun studios 2012, Photo by Mike Lee

 Kirsten filming a rehearsal at Load of Fun studios 2012, Photo by Mike Lee

 
“Hollander reminds us what the truest moments actually look and sound like.”
— Steven Poster, ASC, Director of Photography:
Awakenings; Donnie Darko; Big Top Pee Wee
 
 Filming our final sequence on the Brooklyn Bridge 2013,  Photo by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander 

Filming our final sequence on the Brooklyn Bridge 2013,  Photo by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander 

“Us Naked …a profile of two fascinating humans.”
— Baynard Woods, Baltimore City Paper
 Kirsten filming a Trixie & Monkey show at the Ottobar, Baltimore, Maryland, 2011, Photo by Adam Wilder

Kirsten filming a Trixie & Monkey show at the Ottobar, Baltimore, Maryland, 2011, Photo by Adam Wilder

“Hollander puts us exactly where we’re not meant to be.”
— Sophia Harvey, StageBuddy NYC

Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander is a full-time professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she co-directs the MFA Filmmaking program. Equipped with an undergraduate degree in painting from MICA in 1988, she turned to filmmaking after receiving an MFA in imaging and digital arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1997. Her twofold passion is bringing communities together and telling authentic stories that celebrate humanity. In 2011 Hollander was selected for an Independent Filmmaker Project Fellowship to launch her first feature-length documentary Us, Naked: Trixie & Monkey, which premiered at the DOC NYC film festival in 2014. The film was awarded Best International Feature-Length Documentary at the 2015 DOCfeed Film Festival, Netherlands, and Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Coney Island Film Festival, New York. An unpredictable look at the artist’s journey, Us, Naked tells the story of a real-life performance duo who will stop at nothing to take their circus-burlesque act to new creative heights. For seven years Hollander and crew followed Trixie and Monkey from their base in Baltimore as they honed their skills at a New England circus school, in burlesque competitions in Las Vegas, through cities all over the United States and England, and finally to a new home in New York City. The film delivers a provocative look at the sacrifices made for one’s passion, the meaning of success, and the strength that comes from partnership. The film went into international distribution with Random Media and its partner company, The Orchard in 2017. More information on the film, including the MICA students who crewed and interned on the project, can be found in this story featured in CinéWomen (Paris-Rome), a magazine dedicated to women in the arts. Hollander’s current documentary in post-production, Anatomy of Wings, follows a young mentor from East Baltimore and an unlikely group of teenage girls who bond through a raw film project that could forever alter their destinies and mend their fractured city. Baltimore provides a heartfelt platform to tell this story of how individuals from different social and economic situations can collaborate, partner, and live in the same space, the same world, and the same street. Hollander co-directs this up-coming Baltimore-bred documentary with Nikiea Redmond, a mentor who provides the film’s unifying voice. Many of the young women who appear in the film are both cast and crew, including over forty MICA students, alumni, and faculty who have made significant contributions during the past ten years of production. The film is slated for release in January 2019. 

 

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 Trixie & Monkey Off Broadway at Ars Nova, New York, 2011, Photo by Allen Lee

Trixie & Monkey Off Broadway at Ars Nova, New York, 2011, Photo by Allen Lee

 DOC NYC World Premiere After Party, 2014, Photo by Mike Lee

DOC NYC World Premiere After Party, 2014, Photo by Mike Lee

 Trixie promoting her  Viking  performance, MICA's Historic Main Building, Baltimore, Maryland, 2010, Photo by Mike Lee

Trixie promoting her Viking performance, MICA's Historic Main Building, Baltimore, Maryland, 2010, Photo by Mike Lee

 Trixie & Monkey at Brighton Beach, England discussing their first international show, 2008, Film Still by Lotfy Nathan

Trixie & Monkey at Brighton Beach, England discussing their first international show, 2008, Film Still by Lotfy Nathan

 Trixie & Monkey preparing for the  Us Naked  poster photo-shoot at Nikki Verdecchia Berry's hair salon, Baltimore, Maryland, 2012, Photo by Mike Lee

Trixie & Monkey preparing for the Us Naked poster photo-shoot at Nikki Verdecchia Berry's hair salon, Baltimore, Maryland, 2012, Photo by Mike Lee

 Baltimore Premiere 2015, Photo by Sam Hollander

Baltimore Premiere 2015, Photo by Sam Hollander

 Trixie & Monkey driving home to Baltimore after a Southern tour, 2012, Film Still by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander

Trixie & Monkey driving home to Baltimore after a Southern tour, 2012, Film Still by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander

 Trixie Off Broadway at Ars Nova, New York, 2011, Film Still by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander

Trixie Off Broadway at Ars Nova, New York, 2011, Film Still by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander

 Baltimore Premiere with the Lees and Verdecchias, 2015, Photo by Sam Hollander

Baltimore Premiere with the Lees and Verdecchias, 2015, Photo by Sam Hollander

 Q&A at Baltimore Premiere, moderated by Kirsten & Trixie's cherished Professor at UMBC, renowned art critic and historian famous for her focus on performance art,  Dr. Kathy O'Dell. Photo by Mike Lee,  2015

Q&A at Baltimore Premiere, moderated by Kirsten & Trixie's cherished Professor at UMBC, renowned art critic and historian famous for her focus on performance art,  Dr. Kathy O'Dell. Photo by Mike Lee,  2015

  MUMBO, a   hybrid circus-burlesque-theater play, Baltimore Theater Project, 2009, Film Still by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander

MUMBO, a  hybrid circus-burlesque-theater play, Baltimore Theater Project, 2009, Film Still by Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander

 Home in Baltimore, 2012, Film Still by Kata Frederick

Home in Baltimore, 2012, Film Still by Kata Frederick

 Kirsten with husband Scot and son Sam, Best International Feature Length Documentary Award, DOCfeed, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Kirsten with husband Scot and son Sam, Best International Feature Length Documentary Award, DOCfeed, Eindhoven, Netherlands

 Monkey promoting his  Prima Primate  performance, MICA's Historic Main Building, Baltimore, Maryland, 2010, Photo by Mike Lee

Monkey promoting his Prima Primate performance, MICA's Historic Main Building, Baltimore, Maryland, 2010, Photo by Mike Lee

 

'Us, Naked: Trixie and Monkey Exclusive' Mar 22, 2017 - In today's era…people are being praised for looking like someone else or doing what everyone else is doing. At Dance Mogul Magazine, we encourage individuals to be different… https://www.dancemogul.com/news/us-naked-trixie-monkey-exclusive/

Us, Naked: Trixie and Monkey bio pic tumbles into Baltimore, BY ANTHONY C. HAYES · APRIL 23, 2015 Films about ecdysiast inclined acrobats are pretty much non-existent. But Charm City never has been short of extraordinary characters...Us, Naked – a documentary about home grown burlesque stars Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey. http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/us-naked-trixie-and-monkey-bio-pic-tumbles-into-baltimore/2015/04/23

“Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander Us, Naked: Trixie & Monkey Independent Cinema USA...imparts unparalleled psychological intensity to the documentary genre” CinéWomen (Paris­ Rome), December 16, 2015 https://issuu.com/cinewomen/docs/cin_wom_iss00e15_art_cinema_doc/44

“There’s Something About Trixie and Monkey...unconditionally beautiful” film review Florida Keys Weekly, by Britt Myers September 25, 2015
http://keysweekly.com/42/theres-something-about-trixie-monkey/

'Us, Naked: Trixie and Monkey' Details Lives of the Acrobatic Comedy Burlesque Duo...a profile of two fascinating humans” film review by Baynard Woods April 21, 2015 http://www.citypaper.com/film/film/bcpnews-a-new-doc-details-lives-of-trixie-little-and-the-evil-hate-monkey-20150421-story.htm

“DOCNYC 2014: Us, Naked: Trixie & Monkey…a film that lives up to its promises” film review by Sophia Harvey, November 25, 2014
http://stagebuddy.com/film­tv/docnyc­2014­us­naked­trixie­monkey

“DOC NYC Women Directors: Meet Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander ­ Us, Naked: Trixie and Monkey” by Alice Thorpe for Indiewire’s Women and Hollywood November 15, 2014 http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/doc­nyc­women­directors­meet­kirsten­dandrea­hollander­us­naked­trixie­and­monkey­20141115