An online space for queer, questioning, lesbian, bi, trans and everything else in between women at Yale

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Lesbian" Movies

Being a Film Studies major, I can't help but look for queer or queer related films. If you're in the mood for some lovin' but don't have any of your own, some of the films mentioned below might help fill the void (unless you're going straight to the hardcore stuff). Otherwise, if you're interested in lesbian depictions on screen, I'd recommend taking a look at some of these (when you're not saving the world, securing an internship, helping endangered gorillas, or whatever it is you incredible, superwomen are doing out there).

Some of my favorite "Lesbian" films (in no particular order):

High Art (1998) Dir. Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are Alright)

Synopsis: A young female intern at a small magazine company becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer, both of whom seek to exploit each other for their respective careers, while slowly falling in love with each other.

It's dark and sometimes unsettling, but the chemistry between Ally Sheedy and Radha Mitchell is palpable and raw. Very raw.

Water Lilies (2007) Dir: Celine Sciamma

Summer in a new suburb outside Paris. Nothing to do but look at the ceiling. Marie, Anne and Floriane are 15. Their pa
ths cross in the corridors at the local swimming pool, where love and desire make a sudden, dramatic appearance.

An intimate portrayal of what it means to come of age as a woman. It is in the subtle tensions and visual juxtapositions that the film makes its greatest impact.

Saving Face (2004) Dir: Alice Wu (Holler!)

Synopsis: A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Hilarious and awkward and real. Explores the process of coming out within professional, personal, and cultural circumstances.

My Summer of Love (2004) Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski

Synopsis: In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona (Press) meets the exotic, pampered Tasmin (Blunt). Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.

The cinematography and soundtrack alone are reasons to see this film, but the performa
nces are equally compelling. Blunt is especially seductive, and the screen loves her. One of my favorite scenes is after the girls take mushrooms and crash some type of geriatric ball, and they start dancing together. It's eerie and a little psychedelic, but also intense and intimate. The story is not about being gay as much as it is about love and the self-serving function it can have. It's a bit melancholy so I'd suggest saving it for the upcoming rainy spring days/nights.

The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (1995) Dir. Maria Maggenti

Synopsis: An adventurous love story between two young women of different social and economic backgrounds who find themselves going through all the typical struggles of a new romance.

So, were you a fan of Tina on 'The L Word'? Been trying to find anything and everything that features Laurel Holloman? Well, this movie is for you. In one of her debut features, Laurel plays a shy, butch, and guitar-playing lesbian, who falls for a relatively conservative, well-educated, and ostensibly straight classmate. There's some Riot grrrl happening in the background and some terribly awkward but beautifully authentic scenes between the two. It's not a groundbreaking film by any means, but one that captures the self-consciousness and uncertainty that comes with any first real love.

But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) Dir. Jamie Babbit

Synopsis: A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

It's definitely campy and loses some laughs along the way, but overall, it has plenty of momentum and comedic gems to keep you interested. It's also one of the only films to deal with rehabilitation centers for gays, despite it's satiric approach.

Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) Dir. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld

Synopsis: Jessica Stein is a hard-to-please journalist/artist who is constantly plagued by people trying to find the right "one" for her. When her ex-fiancée tells her she's too picky, she answers Helen Cooper's personal ad looking to make a friend, but gets more than she expects. Jessica doesn't think there's just one person out there for everyone, because plenty of people are kissing Jessica Stein

This is more of a traditional Rom-com, but one that's full of witty dialogue and a brilliant neuroticism. Jennifer Westfeldt, who plays Jessica, is adorably self-critical and anxious, but tender and sexy at the same time. Watching her relationship unravel with the other woman is everything you want it to be: suspenseful, intelligent, and unpredictable. You'll leave this one smiling.

That's all for now... I'll post more at a later date, if more is wanted :)


- A


Anonymous said...

thanks for the suggestions, I'll def be wanting more :)

Dolly Valkyrie said...

Watched them, and honestly love High art, and Kids are alright is anti-lesbian movie... I just don't like it! :)