Elevate Difference

Girl + Girl: Classic Lesbian Short Films

Reviewing a diverse film collection that includes a variety pieces can be a tricky task. This has certainly has been the case for reviewing this collection of lesbian short films. The DVD features a range of lesbian shorts produced between 1988 and 2003 in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The collection not only spans periods where lesbian filmmaking was not accessible to the wider public, but includes a range of culturally diverse perspectives on filmmaking, art, and the representation of lesbian life in cinema.

From a historic perspective, the collection is interesting and enlightening; it includes classic coming-out stories like Cheryl Farthing’s Rosebud (1991, UK) as well as the film festival favorite Maid of Honor(1999, USA), two short films that represent one aspect of the development of lesbian filmmaking in terms of topics covered and also appeal to a broader audience. From a purely entertainment driven perspective, not all of the films included in this collection are easily accessible. I struggled with the quirkier films where stories and images get lost in the films’ focus on artistic merit.

But as much as the diversity of the collection presented a challenge for writing a cohesive review, it also meant that I could skip ahead and get lost in an absolute masterpiece that is included on this DVD: Canadian director Leah Pool’s Rispondetemi (1991) is the life story of a woman as it flashes before her eyes in fifteen minutes while she is rushed to the hospital after a car accident. The film not only highlights themes, images and perspectives that return again in Pool’s later work such as Lost and Delirious, but also represents fifteen minutes of gripping, breathtaking cinema. This short film alone turns the DVD into a must have collection for anyone who enjoys the kind of dazed and confused (or should I say lost and delirious?) state of mind after having watched a truly amazing film.

Written by: Annette Przygoda, April 27th 2009

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