Sapphic Cinema: “Claire of the Moon”

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All the films we’ve reviewed thus far on Sapphic Cinema have one thing in common: that despite stilted dialogue, clumsy acting, or excruciating soundtracks, there is a bright core of hope, goodwill, and love to them.

I can find something to love in almost every lesbian movie. In fact, in all but one. That film is 1992’s Claire of The Moon.

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So the first order of business, if you haven’t seen this film before, or if you saw it but then bashed yourself over the head to kill the brain cells holding the memories, is to watch this trailer. I’m serious. Put on your headphones and angle your laptop screen at a shame-hiding angle, and watch it now.

The three most important things about that trailer are as follows:

  1. PANTS
  2. “A remarkable achievement in film sensuality.
  3. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time wondering if acclaimed director Gun van Sant was high/being tortured with electrodes when he praised this movie or if he just has really bad taste in movies. If someone could please ask him on my behalf, that would be great.

Claire of The Moon opens with the title character getting banged on her ugly fucking carpet next to her ugly fucking coffee table under her ugly fucking blanket.

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The man doing the banging is not important because one of the lessons of Claire of The Moon is that men are essentially faceless, personality-less walking penises who can offer a woman, at best, fleeting amusement and adequate penetration. So, at least we agree on something.

After her morning shag and pack ‘o cigarettes, Claire journeys to the Arcadia writers’ retreat for humorless feminists. These women are an insult to writers, lesbians, and middle age. There is Tara O’Hara (I wish I was joking), the extra from Designing Women with the magical ability to turn every word into an innuendo.

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