Go Fish was the ultimate ’90s lesbian indie flick. It sparked a trend and ignited the careers of the women involved. Where have they been and what have they been up to? Here’s what we could track down.
V.S. Brodie (Ely)
The actress appeared as a karaoke singer in The Watermelon Woman with her Go Fish co-star Guinevere Turner and Cheryl Dunye in 1996 and didn’t return to acting until last year’s The Owls. She now lives in Paris.
Guinevere Turner (Max)
Since starring in Go Fish (her first film), Guinevere has went on to write scripts for American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page, BloodRayne and episodes of The L Word. She’s currently working on Jamie Babbit‘s new film, Breaking the Girl.
Migdalia Melendez (Evy)
Migdalia wasn’t really an actress — in fact, Rose Troche said she found her at a bar. Rose told Curve, “I was looking for a Puerto Rican character, and it’s kind of funny — what do you make a Puerto Rican lesbian look like? I was originally going to play the character myself, but I’m a little too whitewashed for my own good — but when I saw Migdalia, I could see that we had a certain amount in common.” She has since left Chicago for New York.
Anastasia Sharp (Daria)
Before she played Daria, she was a waitress at the now defunct Chicago restaurant Leo’s Lunchroom. Anastasia went on to have a role in the 1998 film Circle’s Short Circuit, which was shot in Germany.
Rose Troche (writer/director/producer)
Rose went on to write, direct and produce for TV and film, including The L Word, South of Nowhere and The Safety of Objects. Most recently she worked on the last season of Law & Order and is rumored to be directing the Xanadu remake.
In 1994, Rose Troche used the city of Chicago as the backdrop for her black and white indie about lesbians finding love and relationships. Rose and Guin were girlfriends, but broke up during filming. This being the first film for so many of the women involved, it has been a success for queer cinema on many fronts. At the heart of the story was Max (Turner), a young lesbian struggling to figure out her identity and what she is looking for in a partner. Meanwhile her roommate, friends and peers attempted to inform her opinion, but she ultimately had to figure out what she wanted and what she wanted to be on her own.
When Go Fish hit the festival circuits in 1994, it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and won Best Feature at the Berlin Film Festival. It was picked up for distribution by The Samuel Goldwyn company and ended up grossing 2.5 million dollars at the box office. Can you even imagine a film like Go Fish in theaters today? It was a fresh perspective in a time when our voices weren’t being heard, and when experimental cinema was still much of the focus of film festivals instead of celebrity-driven dramas.
Last year, Guinevere and V.S reunited for The Owls, a collaborative film effort they made with Cheryl Dunye and Lisa Gornick that attempted to illustrate the differences in “Older Wiser Lesbians” from the younger generation of gay women. The behind-the-scenes documentary Hooters (by Anna Margarita Albelo) followed the filmmakers/actors as they created the film, and their experiences in films like Go Fish informed much of it.
Does Go Fish hold up for you? If you don’t like it, can you appreciate how it has affected lesbian culture?