Laughing On the Sidelines
There were quite a few queer chuckles in blockbuster comedies this year as well. Eden Riegel stole one very memorable scene from Jack Black in Year One, in which Black’s lunkheaded caveman tries to put the moves on the uninterested “Lilith.”
There was also a lesbian character in the equally lowbrow Fired Up, and new American Gladiator Robin Coleman played a lesbian inmate (Big Sal) in Tyler Perry’s Medea Goes to Jail, both films that are filled to the proverbial brim with stereotypes.
Some of the most exciting filmmaking of the year was evident in the higher-quality documentaries and movies that grew out of “non-traditional” media, proving that some of Angela Robinson’s predictions about new media-making technology are finally coming to fruition.
Fish Out of Water was a feature documentary that used animation and traditional interview footage to explore the thorny issue of homosexuality and religion. It was a unique approach to an old, difficult topic, made all the more poignant by director Ky Dickens’ personal story and footage of LGBT folks devastated in the wake of November 2008’s Proposition 8 vote.
A scene from Fish Out of Water
Chica Busca Chica also blazed new trails by starting its life as a web series, then making the leap to Wolfe DVD. AfterEllen.com blogger Drummerdeeds gave it a favorable review, stating: “It is refreshing in its portrayal of the Madrid lesbian experience without falling prey to the exhausted stereotypes of heart-wrenching coming out sequences or lesbian pregnancies. In the search for an exciting new lesbian comedy, viewers have found it in Chica Busca Chica.”
The cast of Chica Busca Chica
Possibly the oddest feature of 2009 was The Panda Candy, a sort of documentary-esque meditation on lesbian life in modern China. With dreamy music video elements and a very “intimate” scene involving a stuffed panda, it wasn’t for everyone, but it was certainly a visually interesting project.
Chun Sue and Taki Zhang in The Panda Candy