“Girls View: A Collection of Award-Winning Lesbian Shorts”
Five Different Views
Brand new from Village Lighthouse and Alluvial Filmworks is a collection of amazing lesbian short films, “Girls’ View”. There is absolutely something for everyone here. The themes range from coming-of-age, open relationships, love, family and sexuality. It’s a well balanced collection of absolutely amazing films and taken together, the collection is a real treat. Three comedies and two wonderful dramas make up the DVD and this is one that you will not want to miss.
The DVD’s first film, “Open” takes a good hard look at lesbian stereotypes and tears them down. It also deals with the issue of open relationships and whether or not they can really work. The comedy also looks at sex toys, bingo and betrayal. The script is literate and the acting s top notch. The characters are funny and real and they prove that old adage that hindsight is 20/20 as it carefully studies, backwards, the dynamics of an open relationship. Two women in their twenties, Sam and Gabby, live in the gay underground of New York City. At the beginning of the film Sam and Gabby have broken up and we learn that the reason for this is that there was a third woman. What we do not know is if it was the third women that ultimately caused the relationship to peter out or if there were destructive forces that had already been at work. As we venture backwards into the relationship we see shades of the sexual relationships between the women. Clues to the breakup are given throughout the film but we don’t learn the truth until the very end. And all of this happens in just twelve minutes.
I love the way the themes are interwoven and dependent on each other. The film is told in two intersecting timelines with the main narrative moving backwards while a montage of items moves forward. What a great technique!
Next up is a beautiful drama, “Unspoken”, a coming-of-age story which is presented as “a tale of desire, betrayal and lust.” This is a film that belongs to the director, Fei-Fei Wang, who is also the writer. She looks carefully and very intensely at the thin line between betrayal and love and the film is hauntingly beautiful. It is the story of two sixteen-year old girls who are best friends and lovers but when jealousy rears its ugly head things change. Illusions fall apart and dynamics change with the entrance of two young men and sex and drugs change the landscape. The film is somewhat painful to watch in its profound beauty but the rewards for seeing it are great.
“Open Studio” is the third film. When her lesbian daughter (Dee) reveals her lesbianism to her mother (Rose), a woman in her fifties who is trying hard to find the artistic talent she once had, secrets are revealed as well. Rose has given her daughter everything and tried to make sure that her daughter achieved the success that she wanted for herself. Her daughter suddenly tells her of her pregnancy and Rose feels betrayed. She is now even more bent on finding herself once again. What shows through this film is the quest for emotional honesty and truth between mother and daughter. When Rose discovers her own emotional honesty, she also finds herself—her own inner being.
Isabella Chan’s “Sugared Peas” is the fourth film. Two young girls who were “almost” lovers while in school meet again years later. They were once the best of friends while schoolgirls but they sublimated their lesbian feelings. They discover that they are both somewhat angry when they cannot find the way to express their feelings and that the relationship that they had once dreamed of wills mot happen.
“Different” is the fifth and last of the short films. This is the story of Liberty High School where being gay and lesbian is the norm. The school is busy preparing for its homecoming celebration while two of the students who are straight are pondering what to do for the celebrations. This is a clever look at the other side of the coin and is a wonderful addition to the collection.
In closing, let me say that the next time you are wondering what to do on date night and the bars have gotten you down, spend the evening with the girls in “Girl’s View”. You will not be sorry.