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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Owls Raises the Bar for Queer Cinema - A Movie Review

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By Moira Sullivan

Cheryl Dunye’s latest feature The Owls is an experimental narrative that screened at Frameline June 18th. The anticipation for this film was high as information about the project has been accessible for some time including a Facebook group. Owl stands for Older Wiser Lesbian. 
The filmmakers and actors belong to the Parliament Film Collective, a matrix of lesbian and new queer cinema creativity.  The film cost 22,000 dollars to make and seems to fit in with the challenge made by Maya Deren to make good affordable films, she said her films cost what Hollywood spends on lipstick. 
The Owls should turn the way queer cinema is going in a new direction, away from big budgets, narrative construction with rising falling action and resolution, following the old Hollywood premise. Its not about coming of age stories of lesbians or coming out or first romance. It’s a more authentic look at lesbian and queer lives with an authentic form to match. The short film category is pretty …

The Secret Diaries of Miss Ann Lister... and the Silencing of the Lithuanian Lambs - A Movie Review

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By Moira Sullivan, San Francisco There cannot be anything more painful than to watch a lesbian falling in love with a woman who decides to leave her eventually for a man or for marriage. This happens to the main protagonist in the opening moments of Frameline 34's opening film: The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, directed by James Kent. We might have said to Ann (Maxine Peak): we told you so! But such is the hardship for a "woman who likes the ladies too much" coming from a small provincial town like Yorkshire and especially at the time when Lister lived, in 1791.


Ann falls in love with a doctor's daughter, Mariana Belcombe (Anna Madeley) , who without even telling Ann decides to get married to an ugly old fart.  She promises to write but of course she doesn’t. Initially and quite wisely, Ann wonders why she should even bother.

Love between women was just something that was not supposed to exist in 1791 and few suspected it save the women surrounding two women in lo…