Clermont Lounge exotic dancer Blondie focus and star of new film

ATLANTA — She's 55 years old, a poet, artist and advocate for gay rights. And she's an exotic dancer, too.

Forget girls half her age, there are other strippers one third her age, but Blondie still remains Atlanta's most famous exotic dancer. Now the star at the Clermont Lounge is the focus and star of a new feature film.

"AKA Blondie" premiered Sunday night at the The Plaza Theatre on Ponce de Leon. It's part of the Atlanta Film Festival. The movie offers an intimate view of one of this country's most famous exotic dancers. The movie not only examines the public life of Blondie, the stripper who crushes beer cans between her breasts, but it also details the private life of the person behind that character, Anita Rae Strange.

"I knew this is what I wanted to do," Strange told Nelson's News on at Sunday's premiere. "It wasn't about the stripping or taking off my clothes. I really kind of dance like 'Dancing With The Stars' but I don't have a partner."'

"'AKA Blondie' is a very intimate view of Blondie, also known as Anita Rae Strange," writer and producer Brantly Watts said. "She's an exotic dancer at the Clermont Lounge. She's been dancing for well over 30 years. She's an Atlanta icon. This film really tries to establish the woman offstage that no one really gets to meet."

Hear more from Strange, Watts and director Jon Watts about Blondie, how she got started, surprising things about her and when she plans to call it quits by watching this video.

The Atlanta Film Festival is an Academy Award qualifying, international film festival. The festival began in 1976 and showcases a diverse range of independent films shown throughout the Atlanta area. The 2012 festival runs through April 1.