AWESOMENESS, ANGST AND AMUSEMENT PARKS
The Best of Lezsploitation — This was by far my favorite film of NewFest. It’s a compilation of Sapphic scenes from 1960s and ’70s exploitation movies, covering everything from Emmanuelle to Vampyros Lesbos. Producer and director Michelle Johnson, otherwise known as DJ Triple X, slogged through almost 20 films in order to cull the choicest clips of beehived predators and scantily clad housewives. (Yeah, I’m sure that was hell for her.) Her favorite? Abigail Leslie Is Back in Town. Hide your daughters!
After the screening, Johnson revealed that she’s also hoping to make a documentary about the women who starred in the films, to see what life is like for them after all those years of batting their eyelashes in the service of the male gaze (though, quite frankly, a lot of them seemed to only have eyes for each other).
A few of the clips in The Best of Lezsploitation featured the infamous Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne), more commonly known as the She Wolf of the SS, The Wicked Warden and Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, and I for one am hoping she’ll be in the follow-up documentary.
Pulptastic! Look for more lezsploitation lusciousness in the coming months on AfterEllen.com, and if you can’t wait that long, check out Wolfe Video’s Vintage Collection, featuring Just the Two of Us and That Tender Touch (coming to DVD in July).
Sonja — This German coming-of-age film sounded pretty good on paper. I mean, how cute are these two on their scooter?
I thought it might be another Show Me Love, but it was more like Show Me Shrug. Sonja, a textbook disaffected youth, spends most of her time slumping through fields, gazing longingly at her best friend and pouting at her parents, only to eventually succumb to the nauseating advances of a male neighbor a couple of decades her senior. The NewFest guide called it a film about the "evanescence and fragility of adolescence," which I suspect is just a nice way to say "these kids are screwed up."
I can’t really recommend Sonja. Even just thinking about it now makes me need a hug.
I totally had déjà vu when I went to Coney Island a few days later. Luckily, my girlfriend was willing to hold my hand even without the surreptitious flirting on the sleigh ride.