2012: The Year in Lesbian/Bi Film

In the past few years there’s been an influx of increasingly mainstream films with lesbian themes (The Runaways, The Kids Are All Right) but unfortunately that was not the case in 2012, which didn’t have much to offer in terms of films depicting ladies who love ladies. Sundace brought us the pick of the litter: Young & Wild, My Best Day and Mosquito Y Mari. Overall I saw more films depicting gay men than women and if we’re going to be represented at all in the Oscars this year, it’ll most likely be with a film that happens to feature lesbian characters (like Your Sister’s Sister) as oppose to films that focus on lesbian narratives.

France brought the biggest let-down I faced all year: Farewell My Queen, which should have been called Hello Blue Balls. It’s a look at the life of Marie Antoinette’s reader/servant during the early days of the French Revolution. The servant is hot for Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger, hubba hubba), and Marie Antoinette is hot for some other woman. The film was full of that deep subtle intensity found frequently amongst middle school girls and films made in France, but then all that energy never built up into anything. It just — was. I left the theatre irritated.

My Best Day is one of those movies with several main characters and dueling narratives, so you’re bound to love one of them. Brooklyn filmmaker Erin Greenwell’s debut film is a sweet comedy looks at life in rural Pennsylvania on the 4th of July as a young woman tries to track own her long-lost father. The lesbian relationship of the film revolves around small town biker/refrigerator repair lady Meagan (Ashlie Atkinson) and her love triangle between local hottie Heather (SNL’s first out lesbian cast member Kate McKinnon) and her gf Amy (Molly Lloyd). I highly recommend this Sundance favorite.

My favorite narrative film of the year is Young & Wild. This movie is hot, funny, unexpected and one of the few films that depicts bisexuality as more than a punch-line. Another coming of age film which provides its drama en espanol is Mosquita Y Mari, which follows two young Chicanas growing up in Huntington Park, LA. I like that this film is about first generation Americans and the crippling immigrant guilt that can be shoveled onto a little homo on top of the gay guilt.

In the mainstream, apparently Pitch Perfect has a lesbian character. I cannot elaborate because I didn’t see it. Voices singing without musical accompaniment make me deeply uncomfortable. It is true that I was in a college a capella group, but I went to Smith and it was the only way to make friends. I can’t handle Glee either. Sue me.

The concept for Cloudburst is kick-ass and I can’t wait to see it. Senior citizen runaways! They bust out of a nursing home and get hitched in Canada. Olympia Dukakis makes for such a hot dyke, almost as fine as Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs.

Jack and Diane is a lesbian vampire film and thought I’m impressed by how much of a rough and tumble boi they turned model/Elvis’ grandaughter Riley Keough into, I heard it wasn’t very good. It was directed by a dude, and for some reason I am very suspicious of men who make films starring lesbians. A dude made Farewell, My Queen, too. Makes you think…

Your Sister’s Sister featured Rosemarie Dewit playing a lesbian just getting out of a bad relationship. I enjoyed the film and was impressed with the performances/ over-all inspired by the honesty of it. Lynne Shelton is creating a new “better-than-mumblecore, but-still-improvisational” genre and doing it good (Who loved Humpday?).

Turn Me On, Dammit was a pretty solid coming of age story. It isn’t gay at all, except for one very brief fantasy, however I will include it because the humiliation that this protagonist must endure simply because she is one horny-ass-motherfucker is akin to the pain and alienation that one feels when coming out. I really wish I lived in the kind of country where a film like this would be made and cherished.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the queer scene in London, Stud Life hit the festival circuit this year. The film dares to ask the question “Mates b4 muff?” when lesbian “stud” JJ has to juggle her attention between her new lady friend and her best friend Seb (a gay dude).

All in all, I was more inspired by the documentaries that came out than the narratives. I wish I had more mainstream films to include in this, but perhaps I’m being too prudent and should include more films with lesbians playing marginal roles. The new year kicks off with Brian De Palma’s remake of the French film Love Crime and is being pushed as super lesbionic. Passion stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,) is about a young businesswoman seeking revenge on a boss/mentor who steals her idea. I’m all for sexy/violent action between those two, so bring it on.

Here’s to a better 2013, and the hope that more innovative queer voices immerge in the U.S.

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