Frameline Film festival features Monica Treut

By Moira Sullivan
The Frameline Film festival is in full swing through the end of Gay Pride month, up through the Pride Parade on June 29. The LGBT event features narratives, shorts and documentaries from around the world, and prides itself on taking the best films out there from this world. It is an eclectic pageant with films about gay men, lesbians, transgenders and bisexuals. Coverage of the festival primarily deals however with films made by men about men and this year is no exception. In putting the L in LGBT first this report is about films made about lesbians primarily by women at Frameline this year. My guess is that films about lesbians today or yesterday are either too threatening or dismissed as nonexistent. Hence the paucity of mention in corporate media about these films. In trying to be all things to all in the LBGT equation many of these films are only screened once this year .

There are several features about lesbians this year which mostly share a low budget profile but for lesbians at the Frameline Audience, it doesn’t matter since the authentic voices of the community that are more important than artistic content or cinematic innovation. What matters most is representation.

Monika Treut comes straight to the point in her western drama A girl with horses, where the beginning lines of the film are No I don't have a boyfriend, I have a girlfriend. The film centers on a horse and Alex a teenage girl whose parents put her on a form to set her straight until along comes Nina and they get together. Riding off into the sunset a true western.

From Canada comes TRU LOVE directed by Kate Johnston, Shauna MacDonald. It is distributed by Wolf Video run by Jenni Olson, a close associate of the Frameline Festival so if you missed the screening on June 20 you can rent this 2013 narrative. It is a provocative film about a relationship between a young lesbian who has a hard time committing to a relationship and the 60-year-old mother of a close friend. It is a rare film showing a romance between an older woman and younger lesbian.

Dyke Central is an Oakland base dramedy TV series complete with the usual roommate issues, new attractions, parties with homemade food and many of the time honored rituals of lesbian culture. The film is staged with amateur actors but it is indeed an authentic portrait of young lesbians today in the under 39 crowd. The series began in 2012 and season 3 is being shown at Frameline.

A scale up from Dyke Central but with a horrible and sensational introduction is Crazy Bitches. The film never takes off or seriously engages with a series of circumstances in this sexploitation film where young women are murdered one by one due to their own vanity. There are a multitude of characters including a part played by veteran Guinevere Turner. Directed by Jane Clark, a former regular on the TV series Chicago Hope, the film has won several awards, including best debut feature.

One of the profile films this year at Frameline is Appropriate Behavior, by Desiree Akhavan. The film chronicles a Brooklyn Park Slope “It Couple” and focuses on a bisexual video artist of Iranian descent who starts off doing children videos after school. This film is one of the best of the lesbian narratives with above all clever and realistic dialogue.

Thursday June 26 at the Roxie Theatre director Desiree Akhavan, actress Guinevere Turner, Rose Troche, director of the classic Go Fish, the 10th anniversary screening occurred at Frameline this year and Kimberly Pierce of Boys Cont Cry (the 15th anniversary screening of her film will be screened on also Thursday will be part of a panel discussion on women filmmakers.

Also screen on Thursday is a doc film about a group of Newark lesbians who were accused of beating a man who taunted them with sexual commentary, and were presented in the tabloids as a vicious gang and most were convicted of gang assault, and where told to plead guilty to a violent felony in order to escape a 25 year jail sentence. Directed by Blair Doroshwalther, the documentary Out in the Night looks at the homphobia and hate crimes against queer women of color.

This years Queer Women of Color film festival celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and remains the quintessential best lesbian film event of the Bay area. Women make their own films and screen them at this event were women are in control of their own images. A program of short films for the festival screened at Frameline during the week.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan
© 2013 - Moira Sullivan- Air Date: MM/DD/YY
Movie Magazine International