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#Oscars2018 Foreign-Language Film: Today, September 26, submission from Canada.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Autumn Movie Bites #1


Here are some bites about lesbian interest movies. Enjoy.

Circumstance by Maryam Keshavarz. France, USA, and Iran. Bit confused about film as found stays like in the middle not going in depth with something. As a genre film tells a known story –set in the Middle East too- with love scenes that are more sex scenes filmed from a male-point-of-view than with female eyes. Not the best lesbian interest film with similar theme that I have seen. Then as a political statement is not strong as there are other female centered stories that have more successfully shown how Middle Eastern cultures/traditions/religion converts women to almost non-existence within their society. Maybe if film had no lesbian interest content political message could have been developed more; likewise if had no political message then the lesbian interest story could have been developed more and more appropriately. Still, film is watchable. Enjoy.

You and I by Roland Joffé. Russia and USA. Not pleasant to watch thanks to a terrible script with absurd dialogues and lack of clear focus in a story that pretends to show youth decadence in contemporary Russia by telling the “falling in love” story of Janie (Shantel VanSanten) and Lana (Mischa Barton). If you skip movie you will be missing absolutely nothing. Sigh.

Sour Sorriso (Sister Smile) by Roger Deutsch. Italy. This 2001 film is more a fictitious account of what infamous Belgian nun surely didn’t live; but not like the more recent version, clearly presents a woman that loved women. The problem is that the director to tell a 60’s set story used a 60’s cinema style that today makes story and film not easy-to-watch plus hard to be related to. Sigh.

80 Egunean (For 80 Days) by Jon Garaño and José María Goenaga. Spain. Film tells about “Axun and Maite meeting at secondary school during a repressive that never allowed their relationship to go beyond friendship” and when they meet 50 years after they can’t really become a couple as seems is too late. Not particularly liked message as I do believe that NEVER is too late, but how writers decided to end story makes message “more politically correct” but less human as we have to end up doing what others want and not what we really want. Film has very good production values and performances that will entertain you. Enjoy!!

Die Konkurrentin by Dagmar Hirtz. Germany. This 1997 German TV movie has a very nice love story between two women as only –I believe- German television can do SO good, which makes it absolutely must be seen for those that enjoy the genre and have seen before (great) German lesbian interest TV movies. The last is because whatever else happens in story (here is Business Corporation drama) is secondary to their typical seductive way of making their protagonists fall in love and have a happy ending. Still surprises me that German audiences were able to watch lesbian interest movies in that decade, when still today -40 years after- many countries TV will never show them. Enjoy!!

Break My Fall by Kanchi Wichmann. UK. Can’t deny that film has an interesting style that makes it look and feel quite realistic. For a 40,000 UK pounds production, have to say that film is really great. Story is raw and like in all stories about a relationship last days we will not see romantic moments; if performances are good then story will be felt a lot more and this is the case with this film. It’s a lesbian story about something that hasn’t been explored too much in the genre and suggest to many to watch it with no romance expectations and maybe you will enjoy it as much as I did. Enjoy!!

Como Esquecer (So Hard to Forget) by Malu de Martino. Brazil. Nope is not about how the relationship ends, but how the one that didn’t want to break up abandons herself into depression, how she starts to overcome not being with Antonia anymore and finally meets someone that allows her to give herself another chance to care for someone. Gee, sounds kind of sad BUT honestly is NOT as this Brazilian movie has all over the Brazilian “joie de vivre” more in style than in story, plus acceptable to good performances by good-looking cast makes the ride really easier. Can be entertaining if you have no expectations and just enjoy the ride. Enjoy!!

Leading Ladies by Daniel Beahm and Erika Randal Beahm. USA. My big mistake was that I had expectations about this movie, “dancing expectations” lol! Honestly is not a good movie and there is not much dancing; but if you enjoy typical American comedy style (which I don’t) maybe you will enjoy this “zany” comedy a lot more than me. Sigh.

Tomboy by Céline Sciamma. France. An entertaining film that surely is more mainstream than Sciamma’s previous Naissance des pieuvres, which I simply loved. As you can imagine was expecting a film more in the style of Naissance des pieuvres and definitively Tomboy is different; still is an engaging story about a girl that sees her moving into a new neighborhood as the opportunity to be more what she really feels like: a boy. Okay I should explain myself so I will not confuse anyone, this film is NOT mainstream, is arty; but if you compare both Sciamma’s films then you will see that her second is more commercial than her first thanks to the story mainly. Not your regular genre film, but worth watching. Enjoy!!

Kyss Mig (With Every Heartbeat) by Alexandra-Therese Keining. Sweden. Has this film a predictable story? Yes. Indeed is true, very predictable BUT film is highly enjoyable, so it’s not about the destination is about the trip. You have no idea how good your trip into the lives of Mia and Frida will be as performances by complete cast is quite good, cinematography is super, production values are high and director is so good that I’ll watch her future films for sure. I loved this movie and if you have the patience to enjoy a great ride to a predictable destination, then this film is definitively for you. Enjoy!!!

Mein Freund Aus Faro (To Faro) by Nana Neul. Germany. This 2008 film has been labeled as the German version of Boys Don’t Cry and indeed has a similar story but fortunately fictional To Faro does not have the violence of the real story. Tells about Melanie that meets Jenny and falls in love; but Jenny think she’s met Miguel from Faro, Portugal. Film is nothing special, entertaining but not much more. If you been delaying watching because of violence (as I did) be assure that there is none here, so go ahead and watch. Enjoy.

Luan qing chun (Beatiful Crazy) by Chi Y. Lee. Taiwan. Couldn’t enjoy film even when I tried harder (lol!), yes is arty but unfortunately not really interesting. Not much lesbian interest, just what seems like a few seconds. If you skip it, won’t be missing much. Sigh.

Albert Nobbs by Rodrigo García. UK and Ireland. Honestly I had no lesbian interest expectations for this movie as I’m familiar with main character story, so finding that perhaps the most digestible/funny character the movie has is the one played by Janet McTeer (Page) who happens to be lesbian and lives with her wife was most refreshing. Glenn Close really gets lost into her male character and does a great performance but character is truly lame -and definitively not lesbian at all- as Albert Nobbs is a woman trapped in a man cover that resigned herself to live a life of loneliness, that’s it until she meets Page as sees an opportunity to change her destiny. Unfortunately she does not look for love, she looks for convenience and pursues Helen (Mia Wasikowska) that definitively doesn’t need “convenience” at that moment. Maybe if Nobbs had seduced Helen then things would have been different, but obviously that will happen later when Page starts to seduce Helen. I believe that Close does really good her character but character is so unappealing and is so well-done that some are saying that her performance made the character one-dimensional, flat, pan faced, etc; but I do believe that’s the way it was supposed to be. Anyway this is a movie to watch not because has lesbian interest moments but because is a story of women that had to dress like men to be able to earn a living when for whatever reason, there was no man to take care of them. Enjoy!!!

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