On The Scene: Sundance 2010

Friday, January 22
Early on, I was able to catch the premiere of Bran Nue Dae, a film that features bisexual singer/songwriter Missy Higgins in her first silver screen role. It was fantastic a musical that manages to poke fun at just about everything Australian and in which Higgins plays a hippy girl going cross-country with her dippy German boyfriend. (Look for a review on AfterEllen.com soon.)

Missy Higgins (at the opening night of Bran Nue Dae in Sydney, Australia)

Next up, I was able to cross into even more indie territory and scope out a Slamdance feature, The Four Faced Liar, directed by Jacob Chase. Slamdance is sort of like its competitor, Sundance, but with a harder, funkier edge. It’s a haven for tiny films with small budgets, young filmmakers, and hipsters in flannel shirts.

The Four Faced Liar and its preceding short, Saturday Morning Blues, directed by Yvonne Michelle Shirley, were decidedly lesbian-centric, and the filmmakers, casts and crews hung out in the theater with the audience. There’s nothing quite like watching a movie and then later learning that the film’s music producer and lead actors were sitting right next to you the whole time.

Saturday Morning Blues is a very low-key drama about two young African-American girls on a lazy Saturday morning. It’s subtle and graceful, portraying a young woman in love with her best friend. Sonya still has one foot in childhood, but her party animal friend clearly does not, and she brags about the boys she has sex with. It’s a satisfying, melancholy little slice of baby-dyke drama.

The Four Faced Liar certainly had its share of lesbian drama, with a storyline that followed five young New Yorkers and their intimate adventures. It features writer/co-producer/star Marja Lewis Ryan as Bridget, a commitment-phobic lesbian who falls for a straight-and narrow lit major, Molly (played by Emily Peck). (Look for a full review on AfterEllen.com soon).

A scene from The Four Faced Liar

After the filmmaker Q & A, I left the warm, inviting glow of flannel and skinny jeans and returned to the full-on craziness of the Sundance box office to see if I could weasel my way into tickets for the big Runaways premiere on Sunday. So far, I had been striking out, but hey, miracles can happen. Plus, my friend and I had given away Pepperminta tickets to folks waiting in line earlier in the day, so good karma was bound to come around.

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