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“I make films.”
“Why don’t you just find yourself a nice man?”
To hear the review
To hear the review
Lesbian Nation comes out on DVD May 19th from First Run Features. It features five short films with a lesbian theme, and one of them is Lavender Limelight. Clearly, Limelight is the highlight of the other DVD, but Lesbian Nation is a better pickup, just because of the extra material. Both DVDs are available from First Run Features today, and both are fascinating. The biggest problem I had with Lavender Limelight was that I hadn’t seen most of the movies that are talked about in the film. Now I have to go find Go Fish, and Watermelon Woman, and a bunch of others. Basically, I am annoyed by this movie because it cost me a lot of money.
Another thing I found annoying is the fact that this documentary came out in 1997. I would really like to know a little more about the progression of lesbian films and film makers since that time, in the intervening 12 years. Maybe a little special feature or something? Because the documentary is so compelling, and interesting, and inspirational, I wanted to know more than just what happened before 1997. Anyway. It doesn’t matter because what DID happen before 1997 is fascinating.
The film interviews several lesbian film makers – Heather MacDonald (Ballot Measure 9), Rose Troche (Go Fish, The L Word), Jennie Livingston (Paris Is Burning), Monika Treut (Seduction: The Cruel Woman), Maria Maggenti (The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls In Love), Su Friedrich (Sink Or Swim), and Cheryl Dunye (Watermelon Woman, The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye). Each woman offers a unique and insightful perspective on being a woman, being gay, and being a filmmaker. For me, the most interesting thing was the film talk.
So many of these women are on the outside of the film world looking in, or at least existing on the fringe. Sometimes it’s by choice, sometimes it’s simply because of the nature of their films – lesbian films are by definition going to be indie efforts, and they are the type of movie that a viewer doesn;t normally come across at the local video store. You would need to seek them out, and this is a great place to start. Seek it out here. But you’re still better off with Lesbian Nation, which contains more good stuff.