AfterEllen.com’s Gift Guide for the Gay Woman 2011

 
 

Lesbian Film Fanatic

As we all know, lesbian movie buffs are a very difficult breed to shop for. Unless you hate the person in question (and you’re intentionally shopping for a bad gift, you wicked monkey, you), it’s tough to find flicks (or flick-related goodness) that she 1. Doesn’t already own three times over and 2. Isn’t god-awful. But don’t worry; a little creativity goes a long way.

1. Get the best. Every year, there are a few films about queer women that deserve to be classics (and, at the very least, belong in your gift-ee’s collection). Any woman who likes sports (or well-told, affecting documentaries) will dig No Look Pass, a movie about Emily Tay, a young basketball star going after her dreams — and dealing with a host of gender, sexuality, and race issues along the way. It’s not for sale yet, but keep your eyes peeled for it’s next screening and nab tickets. Bloomington is actually from last year, but it’s one of the best (and sexiest) lesbian dramas of the last decade. Of course, you can’t forget Black Swan, surely one of the best films (queer-inclusive or not), of last year, and an absolute must-buy for Natalie Portman fans. ($10-$20)

2. Decorative goods. Especially for lesbian horror fans, nothing quite says “holiday joy” quite like a gorgeously trampy Vampyros Lesbos movie poster (don’t forget to frame it!). Perhaps even better (and even less subtle), is the Vampyres poster with the tagline “their lips are moist and very, very red!” ($14-$20)

3. Reading material. All classy queer classic film lovers that I know have a raging crush on the electrifying Katherine Hepburn, so her excellent autobiography will make a nice stocking-stuffer for fans who may have overlooked it. Also present-worthy (if you can ignore a few false dates) is the utterly gorgeous Katherine Hepburn: A Life in Pictures. If she already has these, or she’s more into classic queer cinema as a whole, be sure to pick up a copy of the Queer Movie Poster Book, written by Jenni Olson, a true expert in lesbian (and all LGBT) cinema. ($10-$20)

4. Dinner and a movie. For a twist on the old date standby, treat your recipient to a themed (and home-cooked!) meal along with the flick that inspired it. You can go all out on this one – pair southern classics (including the famed tomatoes themselves) with a gift wrapped DVD of Fried Green Tomatoes, cook a sumptuous feast and screen Nina’s Heavenly Delights, or, for jokers, prepare a fine steak and cuddle up watching The Hunger. Of course, you could order take out if you aren’t kitchen-inclined, but it’s best to at least give it a shot. If your cooking adventures turn into a disaster, you can always just drink the evening away with another unmitigated failure, Bar Girls. ($20-$50)

5. Her very own movie studio. If you have some extra cash, and a whole lot of love, go all out and empower your lady friend to make her own masterworks. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a millionaire to make a statement – a great story idea, coupled with a decent HD camera, the right editing tools for the job, and a little bit of movie-making know-how will go a long, long way. Consider any of CNet’s recommended HD Camcorders for camera work, Final Cut X for editing (or Avid Xpress for PC users). A screenwriting book such as How Not to Write a Screenplay is a nice touch as well (and a fairly entertaining read at that). Of course, if you’re actually on something resembling a sane person’s budget, you can get by with a Flip HD Camera and simply use iMovie or another built-in editing program for post-production. ($100-$1000+)

Danielle Riendeau

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