8 Queer Women Films to Watch in 2014
Lesbian cinema has moved beyond the traditional “coming out” narrative to ask the all-important question, How does one love?
Regarding Susan Sontag
Regarding Susan Sontag is an intimate study of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Endlessly curious and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political, and feminist icons of her generation. Nancy Kates’ in-depth documentary tracks Sontag’s seminal, life-changing moments through archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, as read by Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books to her first experience in a gay bar; from her first marriage to her last lover, Regarding Susan Sontag is a nuanced investigation into the life of a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, and terrorism still resonate today.
Reaching for the Moon
Grappling with writer’s block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary. Hoping to find inspiration on Mary’s sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more - a tempestuous relationship with Mary’s bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares, that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists.
Sixteen-year-old Billie is blindsided by the news that her mother is planning to transition from female to male and that, during this time, Billie will live at her father’s house. Billie and her mother have always been extremely close, so the two make an agreement they will meet every Tuesday during their year apart. As her mother transitions and becomes less emotionally available, Billie covertly explores her own identity and sexuality with two older schoolmates, testing the limits of her own power, desire, and independence.
For Shirin, being part of a perfect Persian family isn’t easy. Acceptance eludes her from all sides: her family doesn’t know she’s bisexual, and her ex-girlfriend, Maxine, can’t understand why she doesn’t tell them. Following a family announcement of her brother’s betrothal to a parentally approved Iranian prize catch, Shirin embarks on a private rebellion involving a series of pansexual escapades, while trying to decipher what went wrong with Maxine.
The comedy is about a codependent friendship between two very different girls—straight type-A Paige (Gillian Jacobs) and lesbian slacker Sasha (Leighton Meester)—who have made a pact. Paige has vowed that she won’t get married until Sasha has the same legal right. All is fine until Paige meets Tim (Adam Brody), a young and charming doctor. As the relationship heats up, Paige and Sasha have to learn how to work Tim into their friendship.
The Foxy Merkins
Margaret is a down-on-her-luck, lesbian hooker in training. She meets Jo, a beautiful, self-assured grifter from a wealthy family and an expert on picking up women, even though she considers herself a card-carrying heterosexual. The duo hit the streets, where they encounter bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women, husky-voiced seductresses, mumbling erotic accessory salesmen, and shopaholic swingers. Navigating the bizarre fetishes and sexual needs of their “dates” brings into focus the hilarious differences between the two hookers, fellow travelers who share the road, but only for a while.
Violette Leduc, born out of wedlock at the beginning of the 20th century, encountered Simone de Beauvoir in the post-WWII years in St-Germain-des-Prés. An intense relationship began between the two women, which would last their whole lives, a relationship based on the quest for freedom through writing, for Violette, and, for Simone, on the conviction that she held the fate of an extraordinary writer in her hands.
Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger
Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger is an intimate portrait of an artist. The film engages with Kate’s personal and public persona illuminating her multifaceted, sometimes contradictory and always charming personality, which has won the hearts of people worldwide and alienated others. The film explores Kate’s artistic practice, her influences and the way she has created language, space, and permission for generations of people to live their lives. The film looks at Kate’s life journey as a shape shifter, gender theorist, and means of surviving great depression while engaging with nature of art, community, being queer and transgender.