The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Discover New Zealand's twin lesbian, yodeling, cross-dressing, sheep-, dog- and horse-loving singers-performers-activists

Only a few minutes into Leanne Pooley's bio-doc, you'll be itching to wing off to New Zealand and hang out with the Topp Twins. They're that infectious. Jools and Linda Topp -- two self-deprecating farm gals from the back of beyond -- prove that heart, humor and a fierce commitment to simply being oneself can translate to a successful three-decade career entertaining all stripes of Kiwi -- from gay-rights rallies and protests supporting Maori homeland, to rural sheep-coloring contests and society parties. The sisters' songs straddle country, folk and music hall, and they're blessed with that uncanny close harmony siblings often have. ("Like one voice singing in stereo," says an admiring colleague.) The film's set-up initially seems a bit pedestrian, with the Topps onstage recounting their life, supplemented with contemporary interviews and archival footage. (Quite inadvertently, this film is a fantastic record of popular lesbian hairstyles of the late 20th century.) But the twins soon make it their own, morphing into various comic characters (including a pair of male farmers) and sharing intimacies. You'll laugh, cheer, get a bit choked up and add the Topp Twins to the list of Great New Zealand Treasures.

Starts Fri., June 17. Harris