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3×3: The Variety Pack


In case you haven’t been paying attention, a whole zoo of burlesque performers, pro-fighters, and civil rights activists have paraded through AMC in the last few weeks, offering movie recommendations (as well as some tricks of the trade). As a mini-recap, here’s a mash-up of bonus interviews, starring pros from all three fields– who probably have little in common besides this column!


Name: Angie Pontani
Signature song: 36-22-36 by Bobby Bland
Signature props: My white extra-large tick boa and my
zebra skin bongo drum.
Favorite Burlesque Movies:
1. Lady Of Burlesque (1943): “It stars Barbara Stanwyck, when she sang, “Take it off the E-String, Play it on the G-String”, my heart fluttered and my fate was sealed. That act really embodies the soul of Burlesque.”
2. Gilda (1946): “Rita Hayworth is just gorgeous in this film, and I will never forget the scene when she’s singing in the night club in this gorgeous dress. While she is trying to get out of it, her zipper jams and she asks for help, announcing that she has ‘always had problems with zippers’. I can totally relate to this, faulty zippers are my worse nightmare! I only hope I can play it off as cooly as she did.”
3. Night of the Hunter (1955): “The scene where Robert Mitchum goes to a burlesque show is amazing. He is sitting there cracking his tattooed knuckles while a girl is performing, and it’s just horrifyingly fabulous! This film is a hands down fright fest, even against contemporary scary movies. But at the end, I still love Robert
Mitchum, no matter how evil he is in this movie!”

Ralek2.jpgName: Ralek Gracie
Fighting Style: Brazilian Jiu jitsu
Titles:Working on it
Number of Broken Bones: I haven’t broken any bones yet, but in my last fight against Katsuyori Shibata I’m pretty sure I hyper-extended his arm badly.
1. The Last Samurai (2003): “I like TLS because it has a very new and fresh feel to it but it also has decades of history. Kinda like me.”
2. Rocky (1976) “Who didn’t like Rocky?”
3. American Ninja (1985): “I’ve always enjoyed ninja movies the most. Their cat-like movement is crazy. My fighting style is of course rooted in jiu jitsu. Jiu jitsu has evolved so much since the first generation and I’m just taking it one step further.”


Name: Dr. Charles Steele, Jr.
Title and Organization: National President and CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference> (SCLC)
Most Memorable March: “When I was 15-years old marching in downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama to integrate the local movie theater and lunch counters.”
Favorite Demonstration Chant: “Ain’t going to let nobody turn me around!”
Mentor or Hero (in addition to MLK): Rev. Ty Rogers
Top Three Inspirational Movies:
1. Eyes on the Prize (1987): “This documentary is a very accurate chronology of the movement. I think Julian Bond did a wonderful job narrating it.”

2. Mississippi Burning (1988): “A great dramatization of the mood and culture in the South in the early ’60s.”

3. The Rosa Parks Story (2002): “This film is special to me not only because it tells the heroic true-life story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, but also because I was the movie’s associate producer.”

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