From “Loving Annabelle” to “Waking Madison”

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If you were Loving Annabelle,

then you were loving lesbian filmmaker Katherine Brooks, co-writer

and director of the film. Loving Annabelle definitely nestled

itself into the hearts, minds and online DVD rental queues of the women-who-love-women crowd. Well, there’s some casting news about Brooks’ new project, Waking Madison. Sarah

Roemer
(Disturbia, The Grudge 2) and Elisabeth Shue

have signed on to star in the film. Roemer has been cast as Madison

and Shue as Madison’s therapist.

And for those still loving Annabelle,

well, good news: Annabelle is in this feature as well. No,

no, not Annabelle, Annabelle, but actress Erin Kelly, who played

Annabelle. What, you thought this was a sequel or something? Has there

ever been a sequel to a lesbian-themed movie? No. Do I sound bitter? Yes.

Anyway, the full synopsis is here, but to paraphrase: Madison is a woman

suffering from dissociative identity

disorder
(multiple

personalities) and living in New Orleans. Events leave Madison suicidal

and desperate, so she decides to lock herself in her apartment for 30

days. She also decides to film the 30 days as a video journal, and vows to kill

herself if at the end of the 30 days she cannot find answers to her

own questions and does not feel more at peace with her life.

Whew, romantic comedy this is not.

This brings me back to the

casting news. This seems to be a pretty intense role for 23-year-old

newcomer Sara Roemer.

As the title character, and one with mental health

issues, the film should really test Roemer’s skill. Shue, on the other hand,

has had a 20-year career and is probably best known for her Oscar-nominated

Best Actress role in Leaving Las Vegas. (She’ll always be the really

cute, sweet girl in Karate Kid to me.) How exciting to have an Oscar

nominee cast in Brooks’ second feature film.

Brooks has diligently chronicled

the filmmaking process through video journals on the website dedicated to Waking Madison. There are journals discussing

shooting locations, writing and financing as well as some more

personal subjects. I have pored over some of them (though

admittedly not all) and have yet to learn if there is lesbian content

in the new film — but since the film is about dissociative identity disorder

then heck, one of Madison’s personalities should be a lesbian or bisexual

woman, right? Dissociative identity disorder is no laughing matter,

of course, but having a lesbian writer and director but no lesbian

content in the movie

wouldn’t be so funny either! OK, maybe a little. See, I’m smiling.

Despite the lack of details, I’d say this is certainly a movie to watch for.

Filming begins Nov. 5 in New Orleans. Stay tuned.

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