The 2008 Lesbian Film Guide: Movies to Watch Out For

The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film festival kicks off today and runs until the 21st of July. That means some of the most talented directors, writers, actors, producers and crews will be debuting their fabulous movies, shorts, and many other amazing events that go along with this incredible film festival.

Outfest is the oldest continuous film festival in Southern California. Since its founding in 1982, Outfest has presented more than 4,200 films and videos for audiences of over half a million people.

This year, there is no shortage of lesbian-related material and I've picked out what I anticipate to be some of the most incredible films showing this year. Keep your eyes on the lookout for these rare gems featuring funny, dramatic, touching and endearing lesbian stories that are sure to touch your heart and bring a smile to your face. Hopefully, these films will be coming to a local indie theater near you!

(USA, 2008, 120 mins)
3WAY calls itself a “Three's Company” for a new generation, but it's also a new vision of do-it-yourself, queer media distribution. Straight lady Siobhan (Maeve Quinlan, the MILF on “South of Nowhere”) is on the rebound from a nasty divorce. She moves in with her lesbian best friend Roxie (Cathy Shim) who also invites Andrea (Jill Bennett) her girlfriend (of one week) to move in. Throw in a kooky ex (Maile Flanagan) and the recipe for gal pal lesbian hijinks and drama is complete! See an assortment of 3WAY webisodes and never-before-seen material compiled just for Outfest, and meet the talent and creative minds behind this popular new web series.

Love My Life
International Dramatic Feature
(Japan, 2006, 96 mins)
IMDB Film Info
Based on the popular comic by Ebine Yamaji, LOVE MY LIFE is a highly entertaining Japanese romantic comedy about two college girls in love and all the obstacles they encounter. Ichiko, wants to tell her father about her girlfriend, Eri. When she does, her father has the bigger bombshell...Ichiko’s parents are both gay! LOVE MY LIFE captures the beauty, the joys, the drama and everything in between when you fall in love for the first time.

The New World (Le Nouveau Monde)
Le Nouveau Monde
(France, 2007, 90 mins)
In French with English subtitles
IMDB Film Info
Lucie and Marion want to have a baby. They’ve watched their best lesbian friends do it, so it can’t be that hard, can it? From the hunt for sperm to dealing with unusual reactions from family members and friends, they soon feel in over their heads. Just what kind of world will they be bringing their baby into, anyway? Charming and funny, THE NEW WORLD takes a lighter look at new motherhood.

(UK , Canada , Romania, 2008, 90 mins)
IMDB Film Info
Based on Sarah Waters’ masterful award-winning second novel, AFFINITY is a gorgeous tale of love, longing and mystery set in Victorian London. Upper crust Margaret Prior grieves the death of her father as she tries valiantly to move past a lost love. She decides to take on “a project” and volunteers at Millbrook, a grim women’s prison full of ladies who have committed some of the most heinous crimes.

One of these women is Selina Dawes, an angelic-looking woman convicted of assault and fraud, and who purportedly possesses special powers as a spirit medium. As Margaret’s visits to the jail increase (and to Selina, in particular), her interest in the world of spiritualism intensifies - but is Selina really the prodigy she claims to be?

With the riveting quality of past Waters’ work brought to screen (TIPPING THE VELVET and FINGERSMITH), AFFINITY takes us on a heart-pounding, bodice-straining journey of romance and intrigue as its shocking twists and simmering passion drive it to a stunning finale.

Dolls (Pusinky)
(Czech Republic, 2007, 99 mins)
In Czech with English subtitles
IMDB Film Info
Too much freedom can make a teenager go wild. In DOLLS (PUSINKY), a breathtaking road trip film, three young women make a wild leap into adulthood. Iska, a privileged young woman, runs off from sports camp with her friends, seductive Karolina and innocent Vendula. One fateful night, Iska observes two women making out at a club, sparking her curiosity and setting off a series of events that changes he course of their journey. Exhilarating and emotional, this is a beautiful film about the journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Drifting Flowers
(Taiwan, 2008, 97 mins)
IMDB Film Info
Zero Chou’s DRIFTING FLOWERS, her remarkable follow up to SPIDER LILIES (Outfest 2007), is a thoughtful drama that explores relationships between feminine and masculine women. Split into three chapters, the stories enter and exit the lives of Chalkie, an adorable butch musician, Ging, a beautiful blind singer and Lily, a heartsick woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. Stunning, brooding and passionate, DRIFTING FLOWERS is a meditative film about the beauty and sadness that permeates our lives.

The Secrets (Sodot Ha)
(2008, 120 mins)
In Hebrew, French with English subtitles
IMDB Film Info
This haunting and lyrical drama explores the place of women and sexuality in Orthodox Judaism. At a Jewish women’s seminary in Israel, Naomi, the devout daughter of a rabbi, meets secular roommate Michelle, and the two become fast friends. The pair agree to fulfill the last wish of a dying woman (Fanny Ardant) and perform Kabalistic rituals on her. In so doing, they awaken within one another forbidden feelings that force them to question their path in life.

(USA, 2007, 117 mins)
IMDB Film Info
Three very different women find comfort and wisdom in a weekly retreat to the steam room. Doris (Ruby Dee), recently widowed, discovers a deep connection with a charming neighbor, while Laurie (Ally Sheedy), a divorced single mother, begins dating her son's younger soccer coach, and Elizabeth (Kate Siegal) a beautiful college student, develops a relationship with Naila, a sexy bisexual. As these three navigate new relationships they learn as much about their friends and family as they do themselves. Filled with charming dialogue and sweet intensity, STEAM is a gem of a film.

Two Looks (Dos Miradas)
(Spain, 2007, 70 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
IMDB Film Info
The fully improvised TWO LOOKS takes us from dawn to dusk on the most important day of Sofia and Laura's vacation. Stunningly gorgeous cinematography of the San Pedro de Atacama desert in Chile makes for a colorful backdrop to the volatile and curious drama that unfolds between these two young women as they struggle to reach the moment of truth in their relationship. Shot in a fly-on-the-wall documentary style, we see and live each cinematic moment.

The World Unseen
(UK, 2008, 94 mins)
U.S. Premiere
IMDB Film Info
Set in 1950s South Africa, THE WORLD UNSEEN is a gorgeous depiction of love in the face of oppression. Free-spirited, sexy Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community - and the new apartheid government - by running a café with Jacob, her mixed-race business partner. When she meets the breathtakingly beautiful Miriam, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her, setting in motion a chain of events that changes both women forever.

So now that you have an incredible list of movies, be on the lookout for their release on DVD or at your local theater. Take your girl on a romantic date to foreign film with subtitles or finally get the courage to ask that cute new girl out and bring her to a romantic comedy. There are so many choices from this veritable international pupu platter of lesbian and bisexual themed movies, that there is sure to be something pleasing to everyone's palate. In fact, if you asked me to pick just one to go see, I don't think I could which is why I'll be heading to OutFest to preview quite a few. Happy movie watching!

1 comment:

MFL said...

I am looking forward to 'A world unseen' Promises to be great viewing

I missed 'A love to keep' not mentioned above but I understand well worth watching

Also I hear there is a new movie called 'i can't think straight' which is a british comedy. Or maybe it.s not new and I just missed it when it first came out

My favorite lesbian movies