Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Video of the Week

Having spent four years researching and writing about Lili St. Cyr, it is rare for me to uncover something new and exciting. So, I was thrilled to discover this Video of the Week. There's a tiny bit of controversy over whether it's really Lili or not, but watch the video and then I'll dish below.

After reading the comments on YouTube disputing whether or not the video is of Lili, I studied the film and suspect it is indeed her. I've seen a few rare pictures of Lili from the mid- to late- Sixties and that is what she looked like including the hairdo. The costume is also similar to one Lili wore regularly.

Also, at this time, Lili was involved with a man she called Lorenzo Holmes. According to Lorenzo's sister, after Lili retired the couple entertained themselves with extravagant private parties. “It could be Arabian week or whatever else they cooked up,” Lorenzo's sister told me. “They would have someone come in and set their whole backyard up as an Arabian tent. Lili would sew costumes for them both. They would dress up in these outfits and have a Scheherazade party." Clearly this was not filmed in Lili's backyard, but it fits her Arabian fascination. And, I wonder if the mysterious man on horseback in the video could be Lorenzo.

Of course, my speculation means little. So, I got in touch with the man behind the film -- Brutallo. Apparently, in the '60s Scopitones, a type of jukebox that showed short, 16 mm films, were all the rage in bars. You'd pop a quarter in and stand around watching these movies on a small screen. According to Brutallo, who began collecting these now orphaned shorts, they were primarily films of stars who were no longer at the top of their game. He suspects this film was shot in the mid-Sixties, which was just a few years before Lili retired. He can't be 100% certain that this film is Lili, but the original recording company, Color-Sonics, had not mis-labeled any of the other films.

I suspect it is Lili St. Cyr. Any other Lili-philes have an opinion?

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