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Tab Hunter Confidential 

Wednesday, Nov 4 2015
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Documentarian Jeffrey Schwarz has hit an interesting groove making films about queer icons, starting with 2011'sVitoand continuing with his terrific 2013I Am Divine. One of the most touching moments in the latter film was Tab Hunter's heartfelt recollections of working with Divine, so it's perfectly natural the latest in Schwarz's series isTab Hunter Confidential. The picture traces Hunter's rise and fall as a teenage dreamboat in the 1950s, and how his career bottomed out less for reasons concerning his sexuality and more about changing tastes in the culture. He does explain the psychological toll of being closeted, how he never felt comfortable with the success he achieved for pretending to be something he was not. Unlike Vito and Divine, however, Tab Hunter is still alive and well, and while he's an engaging presence in the extended interviews that serve as the narrative backbone, he never seems especially comfortable talking about himself, and his story is well-trodden ground. As in Schwarz's previous film, the most touching moments are Hunter's recollections of working with Divine, as well as the strange confluence of how their meeting after Hunter re-embraced Christianity helped him to accept his homosexuality. (Who knew?)Mostly,Tab Hunter Confidentialwhets the appetite for Schwarz's announced next project, about the far more entertaining producer Allan Carr.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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