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9 Reasons We Loved Lesbian-Themed Movies in 2013

9 Reasons We Loved Lesbian-Themed Movies in 2013

9 Reasons We Loved Lesbian-Themed Movies in 2013

Grab your popcorn and Swedish Fish. It's time to hit the theater or the couch and catch up on these movies!

TracyEGilchrist

It was a pretty good time for lesbian and bisexual women to go to the movies and feel represented in 2013 – relatively speaking of course. While films are still a far cry from TV in terms of queer characters and visibility, 2013 saw the release of three lesbian-themed films, one of which won the Palme D’Or at Cannes and garnered loads of international attention (although whether or not that’s a good thing when it comes to Blue Is the Warmest Color has been hotly debated by many lesbian viewers).

Beyond Blue, Stacie Passon’s Concussion and the biographical Reaching for the Moon landed in theaters last fall. Meanwhile critically-adored documentaries about icons Alice Walker and Diana Nyad made splashes at film festivals, as did slightly experimental narrative features like Anna Margarita Albelo’s Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf? and Valencia: The Movie/s, based on Michelle Tea’s memoir.

Grab you popcorn and Swedish Fish and relive the year in queer women at the movies! 

9)Breaking the Girls 

Jamie Babbit’s lesbian take on Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (based on the book by out writer Patricia Highsmith) is a pure guilty pleasure. The notion of “You do my murder, I’ll do yours,” is taken to dizzying erotic heights in this film fest darling that stars Madeline Zima (Californication, Heroes) and Agnes Bruckner (Private Practice). Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, American Psycho, The L Word) co-wrote the script. 

8) Valencia: The Movie/s 

Twenty One -- mostly queer -- filmmakers took on a chapter each from Michelle Tea’s kinetic memoir Valencia resulting in 5 – 7 mini movies that comprise the whole of Valencia: The Movie/s. indie cinema luminaries including Cheryl Dunye, Aubree Bernier-Clark, and Jill Soloway are among the directors at the helm of this highly imaginative, collaborative project that also boasts a soundtrack of ‘90s queercore and Riot Grrrl music from artists like Team Dresch, Bratmobile, and Bikini Kill. 

7) Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth 

Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar, known best for her lesbian-themed romantic comedy Nina’s Heavenly Delights, pays loving homage to Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker in this documentary that chronicles Walker’s life as a poet, activist, and one of the most important writers of the past century. 

6) Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf? 

Filmmaker Anna Margarita Albelo (Hooters) spent the better part of a year running around in a giant vagina costume and stumping for funding for her funny, romantic, insightful, and slightly experimental narrative feature Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?. The film follows Albelo’s character Anna, “a newly-minted 40-year-old,” on a journey to finally create her opus and to find love. Albelo gets strong support from her cast that includes Guinevere Turner, Carrie Preston, Janina Gavankar and Agnes Olech. 

5) Lesbiana: A Parallel Revolution 

Lesbians and revolution! What more do you need? Director Myriam Fougère weaves archival footage with interviews from activists, writers, and philosophers from the forefront – and intersection – of the lesbian and feminist movements in the early ‘70s to paint a portrait of revolution. One woman says of those days when she first started being with women, “I’d like to think it was my feminist politics, but it was not. It was pure lust.”  And that just about says it all… 

4) The Other Shore: The Diana Nyad Story 

World-class swimmer Diana Nyad realized her dreams at age 61, when she successfully swam non-stop from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage! The Other Shore documents spitfire and inspiration Nyad’s nearly 40-year journey to achieving her goal from the heartache of a pair of recent failed attempts to the glory of achieiving her dream. 

3) Concussion 

One of three films on the list to get a theatrical release, director Stacie Passon’s Concussion deftly explores the post-40 female libido when a dissatisfied lesbian housewife turned sex worker rediscovers her sensuality with her female clients. Think  Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (but without the whole making a meatloaf in real time segment).

The excellent Robin Weigert (Deadwood’s Calamity Jane, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) delivers a raw, nuanced, and often steamy performance as Abby, a woman very much on the verge. Wiegert gets strong support from Sons of Anarchy’s Maggie Siff as her favorite client and from Julie Fain Lawrence as her wife. 

2) Reaching for the Moon 

Released in theaters this just last month, Reaching for the Moon tells the enduring love story of Pulitzer-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Gloria Pires).  Bruno Baretto's visually stunning period piece earned acclaim at Tribeca, Berlin, Outfest and Frameline. 

1) Blue Is the Warmest Color 

Say what you will – and plenty have – about the overly long, endurance-level sex scenes in Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour rendering of Julia Maroh’s graphic novel. Blue Is the Warmest Color depicts an epic love affair between two women that spans at least half a decade. It’s stars Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux are utter revelations as Adèle and Emma, young lovers who philosophize, fall in love, fight, and fuck – all with unbridled passion.

 

 

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.