DIRECTED BY FENTON BAILEY AND RANDY BARBATO
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? The former Mrs. Bakker is ready for her close-up.
A documentary about history’s most devoted weepy-eyed mascara wearer, Eyes picks up where the tabloids left off, as the emotional eccentric tries to reconstruct her life without former husband and PTL ministries founder Jim Bakker. ”We love a fabulous mess. That’s what Tammy is, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible,” says Barbato, who, along with Bailey, manages the career of the film’s narrator, drag queen RuPaul. Bailey and Barbato (Party Monster) spent a year and a half making the film, following Tammy Faye around her California home and on visits to her second husband, Roe Messner, who, like her first, had the bad luck to do a stretch in jail for bankruptcy fraud. Even Bakker makes an appearance to discuss his ex-wife, complete with his long-taloned new wife, Lori Beth, by his side. ”We never showed Tammy anything [of the film] until it was accepted at Sundance because we were so nervous,” says Barbato. ”But she apparently cried through the whole thing, and she said [her son] Jamie had to run into the bathroom to throw up.” She did, however, end up enthusiastically promoting the film. (July 28)