Archive for the ‘Lesbian’ Category

Lesbian Herstory Archives

December 8, 2017

I remember as a young out gay man during the 1980’s understanding the need for my lesbian sisters to have their own space free from the pressures of the patriarchy. I not only understood that need, but supported it. I remember venturing into Charis Books in Atlanta and supporting women’s bookstores as often as I could. Supporting Bluestockings in New York City, Women Crafts in Provincetown, and my own neighborhood’s Bloodroot Restaurant and bookstore. I’m thrilled Megan Rossman made a short film on Brooklyn’s Lesbian Herstory Archives. It’s six minutes long, introducing the viewer to the important archival work Lesbian Herstory Archives continues.

Join the women this weekend for their annual holiday sale:

Annual Holiday Booksale 12-4:30
When: Sat, December 9, 12:00pm – 4:30pm
Where: Lesbian Herstory Archives, 484 14th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA (map)
Description :Find some holiday reads while supporting the Archives. Most items $1-2.

Watch the short film on Vimeo.


Me Him Her

November 29, 2017

Me Him Her looked like a potentially cute gay male with straight best friend film. Watching the first half reduced my enthusiasm to a sigh. Filmed in 2015, the film relied on too many worn out tropes – the famous actor who can’t quite figure out how to come out of the closet, the goofy straight best friend who ventures out to save the day, the rebounding lesbian who ends up sleeping with said goofy straight best friend even though he doesn’t even remotely resemble a woman. Parts of it tried hard, parts were cringe-worthy. The bathroom fantasy club scene in particular rang homophobic to me. To be honest, I couldn’t finish it. There was something there – a kernel of potential, maybe even more. It simple never came together. 2 out of 5 for Me Him Her. Next.

Major Female Directors (Barb’s Lists)

November 26, 2017

Mira Nair directing

My good friend Barbara – known online as Uncle Barb helped me formulate my love and appreciation for cinema at her store Alternative Videos of Woodstock (NY). “As a proprietor of a bookstore and then a video shop, Uncle Barb spent years informing herself about books and films, especially those relevant to the LGBTQ community.”

I miss our daily interactions on film and life. Phone, email and text are fine, but no substitute for facial expressions and the sound of laughter. Barb sent me a series of reply emails in response to my list of great directors on my birthday post this year. I loved the lists so much, I asked her if I could repost. Here they are with comments from me taken directly from our email correspondence.

Major Female Directors – Barb’s Choice:

Jane Campion Top of the Lake Angel at My Table Holy Smoke Sweetie
Liz Garbus What Happened, Miss Simone? The Farm: Angola, USA Girlhood
Deepa Mehta Fire Earth Water
Gillian Armstrong Charlotte Gray Oscar & Lucinda Mrs. Soffel
Sally Potter YES Orlando
Julie Taymor Titus Across the Universe Frida
Barbara Kopple Shut Up & Sing Wild Man Blues Harlan County, USA
Lina Wertmũller Swept Away Seven Beauties Love & Anarchy Ciao,Professore!
Gurinder Chadha What’s Cooking Bend It Like Beckham Bhaji on the Beach
Mira Nair Monsoon Wedding Salaam Bombay Mississippi Masala

(Reel Charlie’s comments: This is an outstanding list. I would say yes to most of this list for me personally. My only hesitation is Julie Taymor. I thought Frida was fine, but the other two I can’t remember watching. Maybe I need to revisit. I’ve never seen a Lina Wertmuller. Shudder.)

Second Tier List:

Jamie Babbit But I’m a Cheerleader
Niki Caro Whale Rider Zookeepers Wife
Mary Harron I Shot Andy Warhol
Marleen Gorris A Question of Silence Antonia’s Line
Nisha Ganatra Chutney Popcorn Cake
Patricia Rozema I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing Mansfield Park Into the Forest
Maggie Greenwald Songcatcher Ballad of Little Jo
Lisa Gornick Do I Love You? Tick Tock Lullaby Book of Gabrielle
Lisa Cholodenko High Art The Kids Are All Right Laurel Canyon

(Reel Charlie’s comments: Worship But I’m a Cheerleader. Holds up so well. Should watch Whale Rider again, remember adoring it. Enjoyed I Shot Andy Warhol. Still love Chutney Popcorn – think of it as a great date movie. LOVED Songcatcher – another movie from AV era. LOVE Lisa Gornick. Love Lisa Cholondenko’s High Art.)

Women Director’s to Watch:

Kelly Reichardt
Greta Gerwig (AO Scott called her new film Lady Bird, ‘the perfect film’)
Patty Jenkins (Monster & the new Wonder Woman)
Miranda July

Many directors seem to be working in tv and on series instead of films, Jamie Babbit and Lea Poole for example.

(Reel Charlie’s comments: These are great lists, thank you! Love Greta Gerwig’s writing in Frances Ha and her acting in 20th Century Women. Looking forward to seeing Lady Bird. Lots of buzz around it. Yes to Jamie Babbit – I see her credit often on great series work.)

Want gender equality? Learn more from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
Support Women Makes Movies.

Check out Reel Charlie’s Gender and Lesbian category archives for more female driven films.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

November 23, 2017

I certainly have many things to be thankful for this year – great friends, an amazing family, a supportive and loving non-partner/partner (my bex, Dennis), a fantastic job in a career that helps the disenfranchised and people at risk, wonderful co-workers, a healthy body that responds to exercise, doctors and medical staff who keep me humming after all these post AIDS crisis years, and a brand-new 7 year-old puppy girl who will come live with us on Saturday.

But this year has not been without struggle. Now more than ever it’s important I keep myself glass half full. There is so much to do if we are to make this country and our world a reflection of decency, kindness, love and inclusion.

Today is U.S. Thanksgiving. Many of you will be home with family and friends. I wish you a calm, happy, foodie day. And afterwards, if you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving movie, consider What’s Cooking. It’s very American and very ethnic. Which is very American. Now more than ever.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of the perfect Thanksgiving film: What’s Cooking.
What’s Cooking is currently streaming on Amazon with a Tribeca Shortlist subscription. Or rent it digitally for $3 from Amazon, Apple, or Vudu. Or get the DVD from Netflix or your library.

Announcing the Award-Winning Films From NewFest 2017 (Out)

October 28, 2017

Thrilled to see so many lesbian films win at this year’s NewFest 2017 in New York City. Especially looking forward to:

The Jury Award for Best US Narrative goes to The Feels, directed by Jenée LaMarque. Two brides-to-be throw a joint bachelorette party that ends up calling their whole relationship into question. Equal parts laughs, tears, and introspection, this modern take on a romantic comedy unravels the secrets that can plague even the strongest relationship. Outstanding performances and an earnest script make up the heart of this crazy-enjoyable film.

The Jury Award for Best New York Short goes to Ace, directed by Morgan Kahn Nichols, in which an unlikely pair of teenagers perform an awkward social dance in a house with no parents.

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature goes to Hot To Trot. Set in the swinging setting of same-sex competitive ballroom dancing, this tremendously entertaining documentary highlights the culture and art of dance as it humanistically profiles the compelling stories of four international dancers.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature goes to A Date For Mad Mary, the first feature film by director Darren Thornton. Mary has just been released from a six-month prison stint for a drunken bar fight. Her best friend Charlene is now getting married and wants to keep Mary at a distance, alienating her from their circle of friends. An encounter with a queer musician changes Mary’s perspective and awakens her romantic spirit. The film also won the Breakthrough Award at the Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards.

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Short goes to Love Letter Rescue Squad. Director Megan Rossman reflects on the Lesbian Herstory Archives, home to the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities.

See the full list at Out.

Mindhunter: Season 1

October 24, 2017

I loved Mindhunter. Nothing more perfect for me than a thriller focusing more on the psychology behind crime rather than the gore. Jonathan Groff (Looking) stars as a young FBI agent who pushes to create a scientific behavioral unit at Langley in the late 1970’s before the word serial killer was even thought of and definitely at the end of the Hoover era. Featuring a strong supporting cast including Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, and Anna Torv, Mindhunter approaches murder and mayhem in a quiet, methodical way. Yet each of the main characters sacrifices something great from their personal life for the opportunity to create careers and change the way the world looks into the minds of killers. 4 out of 5.

The Fosters: Season 5

October 19, 2017

The Fosters keeps getting better. Hard to believe the kids are so grown up after only five years. Stef and Lena continue to navigate parenting with a home full of teenagers. Each child has their own life, friends, loves, hopes, dreams. Side stories with the legal parents, birth parents, foster parents. It can seem like a lot, but it’s life and love and creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg do such a great job. I look forward to a new season each year. 4 out of 5 for this heartwarming family drama from Free Form.

OutFilmCT: Desert Hearts; 10/12/17 – Hartford, CT

October 7, 2017

OutFilmCT is hosting a 30th anniversary screening of the classic lesbian drama, Desert Hearts in Hartford, CT Thursday, October 12, 2017.

DESERT HEARTS – Thursday, OCTOBER 12 @ 7:30 PM – Cinestudio
The fall is here, and we are bringing you back all-time lesbian classics! Watch it again, 30 years later, or discover one of the first masterpieces of queer cinema if you haven’t seen it before.

For October we’re celebrating the first widely released film to feature a positive lesbian relationship on-screen: no one is self-destructive, drinks to excess, or morosely pines for straight girls! Directed by Donna Deitch (who is planning a sequel), this breakthrough movie is set in 1959, as a Columbia University literature professor (Helen Shayer) arrives in Reno to divorce her husband. Staying at a local ‘divorce ranch’ in the Nevada desert, she meets a free-spirited casino worker and potter (Patricia Charbonneau), who opens her heart to self-acceptance, sensual exploration, and love.
Directed by Donna Deitch, 1986, USA, 97 min.

Cast: Helen Shayer, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley.

Desert Hearts (1985)


Transparent: Season 4

October 1, 2017

“Sleep and I shall soothe you, calm you and anoint you…”

Who knew the Pfeffermans were as obsessed with Jesus Christ Superstar as I was when I was a little boy. And they remember the words to the songs after all these years. Even Maura’s sister! Such a magnificent and glorious television series Transparent continues to be. Is this the most loving, dysfunctional family you’ve ever met? Does yours rival them? Mine sure doesn’t. Which is probably why I love watching them tick. This season the family connects with their spiritual and social roots on a trip to Israel. Every one comes together and then proceeds to find their own corner and take some time out to contemplate life: Josh at meetings, Sarah with Len, Ali at the farm, and Maura and Shelly meditating in the midst of the chaos. The only logical family member of Maura’s who gets any back story time this season is the luminous Davina, my favorite non-Pfefferman. We dig deeper into Davina’s past to find her vulnerabilities. I love Davina even more after this season. She is the heart, soul, and calm of the show. Alexandra Billings brings nuance and wisdom to the role. Can’t say enough how much I adore Transparent. 5 out of 5 for this family ensemble.

NewFest 2017

September 29, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: NewFest 2017
The 29th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival

Thursday October 19 – Tuesday October 24

NewFest will be celebrating its 29th annual New York LGBT Film Festival from October 19th – 24th, 2017. The six-day festival will feature over 100 films, panels, and parties that reflect the LGBT experience.

Reel Charlie’s looking forward to:
100 Men
Hot to Trot
My Wonderful West Berlin
One Last Thing

%d bloggers like this: