New to DVD this week:
An affectionate portrait of a beloved crossdressing Austin legend.
A mainstay in Austin TX for the last 15 years of his life, Leslie Cochran was an attention-grabbing, crossdressing figure who waived his freak flag proudly until his death at the age of 60 in 2012. He ran for city office unsuccessfully several times, was often homeless (though friends sometimes would let him stay with them), and was usually drunk, subsisting through the kindness of friends and “tips” from fans. Tracy Frazier’s homegrown profile, which appears to be long in the making, attempts to go beyond the surface, delving into Leslie’s life before Austin and provide a sense of what shaped the noncomformist. To some extent, she succeeds, revealing a sad childhood of sexual and emotional abuse, as well as the deleterious impact of a traumatic brain injury, and an interesting earlier attempt at reinvention, when Leslie was known as “Trapper Al” in a small Colorado community. Ultimately, however, her project never manages to transcend its very local, very Austin perspective, limiting its appeal and reach.