Trailers: Orchids, Hit & Miss, Tomboy

Three trailers have come through my inbox recently, and they have piqued my interest enough that I thought you might like to see ’em, too.

HIT & MISS, from Paul Abbott, creator of Shameless and State of Play, is a high concept and ambitious new series that follows Chloë Sevingy as Mia, a contract killer with a secret: she’s a transgender woman. Mia’s life is sent into a tailspin when she receives a letter from an ex-girlfriend dying from cancer revealing that Mia fathered a son eleven years ago. Faced with a difficult decision, Mia becomes the guardian to a new family forcing her to mix her killer instincts with her newly developing maternal instincts. HIT & MISS tells the story of a lethal killer at the heart of a troubled family and how all of their lives will be dramatically changed forever.

I’m pretty skeptical, but I love Chloe Sevingy and I’m kind of a sucker for contract killer shows (Alias!), and I am curious about this. Will they pull it off? How awful will it be? And ethically is it a good idea to cast a cis woman as a trans woman? I don’t know. But I’m glad something like this exists, because it’s encouraging these questions if nothing else. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Gen X filmmaker Phoebe Hart always knew she was different growing up—but she didn’t know why. This award-winning documentary traces Phoebe’s voyage of self-discovery as an intersex person, a group of conditions formerly termed hermaphroditism. Learning only in her teens that she was born with 46XY (male) chromosomes, Hart now seeks to understand her own story and the stories of others affected by this complex and often shameful syndrome. Learn more about ORCHIDS here.

It premieres tonight on Showtime! Looks like a pretty intense undertaking, from the trailer, and I’m curious what it’ll add to the intersex discourse.

Ten year old Laure isn’t like most girls. She prefers football to dolls and sweaters to dresses. When Laure, her parents and little sister Jeanne move to a new neighbourhood, family life remains much the same. That is, until local girl Lisa mistakes Laure to be a boy. Indulging in this exciting new identity, Laure becomes Michael, and so begins a summer of long sunny afternoons, playground games and first kisses. Yet with the school term fast approaching, and with suspicions arising amongst friends and family, Laure must face up to an uncertain future.

This was released last fall, but was just released by Wolfe video on DVD and I’m excited to see it.

The “Butch Buddy” Movie

Did you ever see the film By Hook Or By Crook? When I saw it at a little indy theater in Seattle, with my then-girlfriend, I heard it called the “butch buddy” movie. (It’s too bad it didn’t click for me then that because the film reminded me of our relationship, that the relationship probably wasn’t going to last. But that’s another story.)

Apparently Lesbian News called it “The top butch buddy movie of all time!” … Are there other butch buddy movies that I don’t know about? Is there a whole butch buddy genre? Where are they hiding?!

Anyway here’s the trailer.

And the description of the film:

This innovative Sundance hit spins a tremendously entertaining adventure story about two butch/trans buddies on the streets of San Francisco in search of love and money. Starring LA performer/artist Harriet “Harry” Dodge (Cecil B. Demented, The Joy of Life) and former Tribe 8 dyke punk rocker Silas Howard, By Hook or By Crook remains one of the most popular queer cult movies of all time.

Shy (Howard) is a small-town loner who dumps a diner job and thumbs to San Francisco to pursue a life of petty crime. Along the way, Shy stumbles into the off-kilter Valentine (Dodge). An unexpected and magical friendship sparks, as they steal and grift their way towards understanding themselves and the crazy world around them. Co-starring performance artiste’ Stanya Kahn and super sexy San Francisco dyke poet Carina Gia.

Why am I telling you this? Well, two reasons. One, it’s on Netflix Instant Watch, and if, like me, that service has pretty much replaced your television, you might want to curl up one of these wintery nights and watch it.

Second, Silas Howard is reading at Sideshow in December! Come join us for the last Sideshow of the year and hear some great stories. Along with Silas, comic Heather Gold, one of my favorite buddies Whitney Porter, and hot queer all-star couple Elizabeth Whitney & Lea Robinson will be sharing their work also.

This month’s theme is FAMILY/TRADITIONS, starring:
Heather Gold (Tummelvision.tv)
Silas Howard (By Hook or By Crook)
Whitney Porter (Ping Pong Literary Journal)
Lea Robinson (Butch Mamas) and Elizabeth Whitney (The Secretaries)

The Kids Are All Right is Now On DVD

the-kids-are-all-rightI’ve been waiting for The Kids Are All Right to come out on DVD since I saw it this summer. I was ready to see it again, even right after I saw it the first time. I debated and deconstructed and philosophized and puzzled over the plot for a good solid week before I had various lightbulb moments and felt like I “got it,” like I understood what director Lisa Cholodenko was going for. (My thoughts on it culminated in this post on AfterEllen, The “Lesbian Sleeps With A Man” Trope in The Kids Are All Right.)

I’ve referenced this film many times since I saw it. Not just the characters or lines or this particular plot, but the affect Cholodenko has had on this trope, the way this film has gotten into our collective social consciousness, and the result—that the man is totally left out, that he has not spent years building a family, but that he was, in fact, practically irrelevant to the building of their family—will effect any future film that attempts to use this trope to invalidate lesbian identity. I think Cholodenko took that stereotype and ran with it so far and hard that it is kind of, well, over. I think it changed the landscape.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with me about that, it’s a beautiful film. It really is. If you’ve seen either of Cholodenko’s other films, like High Art or Laurel Canyon, you know her style of cinematography is stunning and unique. She’s a mainstream queer female director—on the masculine-of-center side of gender, I would argue—and this film depicts a lesbian relationship, women in love with each other, sincere emotions and care for the building of a family, overcoming hardship, all of those wonderful things that are so rarely depicted responsibly or artfully in a mainstream film.

It came out on November 16th. I can’t wait to see it again.

Here’s a nice clip from the bonus features on the DVD, where you can see many of the beautifully framed shots from the film as director Cholodenko discusses her relationship to the concept of “family:”

Here’s the blurb from the film, in case you were somehow under a rock all summer and missed the hours and days of discussion when it came out:

The Kids Are All Right stars Academy Award® nominees Annette Bening (American Beauty) and Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights). Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) are a suburban couple raising their two teens, Joni (Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson, Journey to the Center of the Earth), in Southern California. But when the kids track down their “donor dad” Paul (Mark Ruffalo, Shutter Island), an unexpected new chapter begins for everyone as family ties are defined, re-defined and then re-re-defined.

The Kids Are All Right is on DVD and Blu-ray November 16th

It is really worth seeing. Annette Bening in particular is phenomenal, and I’m pretty excited to see her as Nic on screen again. I wish we could just crack a bottle of wine and sit up on the Hollywood sign and talk about girls until the bottle’s empty.

  

(Yes, clearly, I’m a sucker for glasses.)

Pick up The Kids Are All Right from Wolfe Video, the largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films, or, if you must, from Amazon.

The L Word Season Six: well, at least it’s over

Damn you, L Word. After five seasons of drama, awful writing, inconsistent characters, offensive gender stereotypes, horrible treatment of trans issues and butch issues and positive sexuality and relationship accountability, I still want to like you. I still watched, because I wanted to be able to participate in the lesbian culture that says “oh my god she is such a Bette, I don’t even know how you can date her.” I still hoped that maybe, perhaps, somehow, it would redeem itself, because, well, I am that starved for lesbian imagery and lesbian characters and lesbian representation. I am so starved that I sat through Shane’s singularly sexualized androgyny and Max’s transition and Jenny’s insanity and every character’s complete lack of growth and the painful dialogue and writing that made me shout at my computer screen. I put up with it because somewhere, I am a little ashamed to admit, I like deconstructing the awfulness that is the drama and bad writing and intolerable plots and horrible representations of … not me.

The L Word: Season 6 DVD – Reserve Your Advance Copy Today from Wolfe for just $44.95, Available October 20, 2009

It’s the final season of the show that won our hearts and got us talking; the show that The New York Times called: “a Sapphic Playboy fantasia” for its unwavering dedication to portraying sexy lesbian characters in a steady stream of increasingly hot and wild story lines. Season 6 is wilder than ever as it revolves around the $64,000 question: “Who Killed Jenny?” Nope, that’s not a spoiler – the first episode begins with that question and we spend the whole season in flashback leading up to the big event. And in the words of that great infectious theme song, Season 6 covers everything from: “Talking, Laughing, Loving, Breathing, Fighting, Fu**ing [sic], Crying, Drinking, Writing, Winning, Losing, Cheating, Kissing, Thinking, Dreaming.” And SO much more.

I wonder if the writers worried that there was no other way to redeem Jenny other than to have her killed. I wonder if they wrote her to be so terribly annoying and inconsistent and bratty and self-absorbed and completely intolerable ON PURPOSE so we would love it when she gets murdered. I admit, when I first heard she was getting murdered, aside from letting out a huge BWA HA! NO WAIT, SERIOUSLY? laugh at the ridiculousness of attempting to add a level of unbelievable suspense to the show, I also said, well it’s about fucking time.

Despite this, the only possible thing that could have kept me watching season six, I didn’t see past the premiere. Mostly because I just couldn’t be bothered to seek out some place that had Showtime. I’m still vaguely curious to know what happened, who killed Jenny (though I hear it’s never revealed) and how the show wraps up, but I do have other important things that might take presidence. Like, you know, cleaning my kitchen and watering my plants and reorganizing all my ties by color. I’m still tempted though … and I just might get the season’s DVDs when they’re available in October, and see if I can’t at least have a good time deconstructing everything that’s wrong with it. I do get a little thrill out of the perfect deconstructive insult.

If you are as curious as I am, or if perhaps you are a fan (I know there must be some of you out there), you should reserve your advance copy today from Wolfe Video, queer-owned community source for LGBT movies since 1985.

Review: Butch Jamie (film)

I watched Butch Jamie recently – you can imagine why I was intrigued, there are so few butches on screen, at all!, that I like seeing my kind represented and tend to seek out the queer films anyway, so of course I picked it up. And by picked it up, I mean, Wolfe Video was kind enough to send one to me.

Here’s the trailer:


Cute, right? And I stand by my original impulse – it’s really fun to see a butch in a film. I’m pretty critical of film in general, especially queer films, so I definitely have some criticisms of the way the plot developed. Some of it was just silly and unbelievable, in a kind of annoying way. But I actually really enjoyed Jamie’s roommate, I thought her character had probably the most integrity.

Have you seen this film? What’d you think?

Excellent Queer/Lesbian Films

Hey Janet – thanks to the Random Number Generator, you are the winner of the copy of She Likes Girls 3 from Wolfe Video!

Everybody else, She Likes Girls 3 comes out on December 2nd – preorder your own copy, it’s going to be great.

Janet writes at Mid-life Clarity. Congrats! I’ll be in touch with you via email.

In this completely informal poll that wasn’t even really a poll, here are some of the queer films that you all answered when I asked what is your favorite lesbian/queer film of all time?

Top favorites:

Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (7)
But I’m a Cheerleader (6)
If These Walls Could Talk 2 (5)
By Hook or By Crook (4)
Better Than Chocolate (3)
Bound (3)
Fried Green Tomatoes (3)
Imagine Me & You (2)
High Art (2)

One mention each:

All Over Me
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Itty Bitty Titty Committee
Little Darlings
D.E.B.S.
Paris is Burning
Tipping the Velvet
Boys Don’t Cry
The Alley Cats (by Radley Metzger – “1960s lesbian sexploitation at its finest”)
Derek Jarman’s “The Garden”
Puccini For Beginners
Show Me Love (aka Fucking Amal)
Saving Face
Fire
The Gay Bed and Breakfast Terror
Go Fish
Antonia’s Line
Aimee & Jaguar
Kissing Jessica Stein

Films that weren’t mentioned (but probably should’ve been):

Desert Hearts
Chutney Popcorn
When Night is Falling

Perhaps you know some young gay folks who might just love to have their little queer worlds rocked the way ours were when we first saw some of these films, when we first saw ourselves reflected on screen, given that it’s the holidays and all.

And speaking of the holidays – want to be a Gay Santa for Sylvia’s Place, homeless queer youth services?

—please forward widely–

Expand Your Shopping List This Christmas – Be a Gay Santa MCCNY/Homeless Youth Services is seeking volunteers for our “Gay Santa” program. Gay Santas respond to letters written by the LGBT youth in our program requesting gifts. Gifts are mailed or dropped off at the shelter so that each young person has a gift to open Christmas morning. Interested? Contact: [email protected]

Win a copy of ‘She Likes Girls 3’

Want to win a fabulous collection of lesbian short films, thanks to Wolfe Video?

Yeah, I thought you did. Who doesn’t like free stuff? Especially when it’s funny, sad, romantic, and dramatic lesbian short films. Aw yeah.

Tell ’em what they’re gonna win, Sin …

She Likes Girls 3

The girls who like the girls are back in this jam-packed installment of the most popular lesbian shorts DVD series of all time. Enjoy the eye-candy and prepare to be entertained by these funny, sad, romantic, dramatic lesbian short movies from today’s top talents including: Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, The L Word), Julie Goldman (Big Gay Sketch Show), Cassandra Nicolaou (Interviews with My Next Girlfriend, Show Me), Roberta Munroe (Dani and Alice), and others.

Available on DVD at fine retailers everywhere on December 2nd. Ask for it by name – or buy your copy right now from WolfeVideo.com!

So what do you have to do to win? Leave a comment in this post and tell me: what is your favorite lesbian/queer film of all time?

If you want to say something about why it’s your favorite, too, go for it. I’m sure there are a lot I’ve missed out on – I only recently saw Puccini For Beginners, for example (which, though I was skeptical, I quite enjoyed).

The winner will be picked on Monday morning, December 8th.