3 posts categorized "Lesbian Cinema"

January 16, 2022

TITANE — CANNES 2021

TITANEJulia Ducournau clearly deserved the Palme d'Or she won for "Titane."

Unpredictable, and simmering with pure dynamic sexual tension, "Titane" is a visceral experience you will not soon forget.

Ducournau milks unfathomable drama and suspense with fundamental rules of dramaturgy that she effortlessly turns on their heads.

Automobile safety, people.

COLESMITHEY

Julia Ducournau is the new Cronenberg. 

All-you-can-eat French erotic social satire body horror. Yum. 

ColeSmithey.com

Genius.

5 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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July 05, 2012

FAREWELL, MY QUEEN

Farewell,_My_QueenMarie Antoinette takes on the façade of lesbian-rebel-savant in Benoit Jacquot’s nuanced cinematic rendition of Chantal Thomas’s novel. The graceful period drama occurs during Marie Antoinette’s waning days at Versailles (July 14 to 17, 1789) when the French Revolution was just gearing up.

The opulent halls and grounds of the majestic Palace of Versailles make for an intrinsically cinematic staging. Inside the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) takes notice of her “personal reader” Sidonie Laborde’s ample cleavage when the young woman comes to read to the Queen as she lay on her daybed. The microcosm scene manifests the emotional weight of the story.

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The bare-footed Queen Antoinette takes notice of the mosquito bites Sidonie (Lea Sidonie) scratches, and calls for her ever-near assistant to tend to them. Such improper intimacy between a Queen and her reader are unheard of, and so excite Sidonie’s imagination — the audience’s imagination — however exaggerated that expectation might be.

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Diane Kruger’s Marie Antoinette is a fickle, possibly bi-polar, creation. Her material and sensual obsessions turn coldly, if not judiciously, practical after the storming of the Bastille when she realizes she must escape from Versailles. Sidonie’s consequent epiphany about the Queen’s Sapphic relationship with the Duchess Gabrielle de Polignac (Virginie Ledoyen) only fuels her daydreams more about what might be possible for her relationship with the Queen. Sidonie is so blinded by her own tempestuous desire that she fails to complete a vital assignment given her by the Queen.

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“Farewell, My Queen” shares a kinship with “My Week With Marilyn” in that both films capture the all-enthralling sensual attraction of a lower class member of society to an impossibly looming cultural figure. While the connection between Marie Antoinette and her hopeful assistant advances nowhere near the intimacy that occurs in “My Week With Marilyn,” the movie embodies a carnal paradox elevated by social crisis. The ensemble performances are solid, as is the film’s terrific production and costume design.

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Rated R. 100  mins.

3 Stars

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

November 05, 2011

LIANNA — CLASSIC FILM PICK

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

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LiannaWriter/director John Sayles's 1983 follow-up to his impressive debut with "Return of the Secaucus Seven" is an important touchstone of lesbian cinema. Written with his trademark keen ear for dialogue, Sayles seamlessly blends character study with social exposé. Linda Griffiths plays Lianna, a naïve New Jersey housewife to the aptly named Dick (Jon DeVries), a snobby film studies/English professor she met while enrolled in one of his classes.

The unhappy pair share an upper middle class existence with two children whose affections Dick turns against their caring mother after the couple split due to Dick’s infidelity.

Lianna (1983) – FilmFanatic.org

After witnessing Dick engaged in sex with one of his students at a college faculty party, Lianna goes on a date with her gay child psychology professor Ruth (Jane Hallaren). The rendezvous at Ruth’s home affords the pent-up Canadian transplant Lianna an opportunity to freely admit her latent homosexual desires. What follows is one of the most sincere and sensual lesbian sex scenes ever filmed. Whispered inner-dialogue from Lianna supplies an added layer of subtext to the sequence.

Lianna-colesmithey.com

Giddy from the experience, Lianna unwisely informs the egotistical Dick of her sexual experimentation upon his return from the Toronto Film Festival. Outraged beyond reason, Dick unceremoniously kicks Lianna out of the family home to fend for herself. Lianna’s liberating but humbling search for self in the New Jersey community beyond the walls of academia reveals manifold striations of hypocrisy that surround her.

John Sayles on Twitter: "Linda Griffiths on set of #LIANNA - She will be  missed http://t.co/AK7RPqWvzs"

Ruth proves emotionally unavailable to Lianna. She nonetheless introduces her eager apprentice to the town’s active lesbian nightlife scene at a bar called the My Way Tavern. In the midst of fending off advances from horny males—for which Sayles himself performs a role — Lianna takes a small apartment and searches for a job in a depressed market. Sayles has no time for clichés. Supporting characters, such as Lianna’s new apartment neighbors, function in the service of the story rather than being allowed to hijack the narrative as would occur in a typical Hollywood film.

Jane Hallaren — Jane Hallaren and Linda Griffiths in Lianna #Jane...

There’s an amateurish stiffness to Linda Griffiths’s portrayal that suits her character. Lianna is a vulnerable young woman who daringly exposes herself to a world of prejudice and ridicule. The film embraces the fear and joy Lianna experiences with a refreshing openness. It serves as an accurate time capsule of 20th century American lesbian reality that doesn’t attempt to provide any easy answers to the problems it recognizes.

Rated R. 110 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

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