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Guinevere Turner on Go Fish Turning 20

Guinevere Turner on Go Fish Turning 20

Guinevere Turner on Go Fish Turning 20

It's been 20 years since Guinevere Turner became the lesbian indie film darling of Go Fish, and she'll be out in West Hollywood Wednesday night to discuss the journey.

This evening in West Hollywood, roughly 20 years after penning and starring in the queer film classic Go Fish, Guinevere Turner will sit down with Outfest Senior Programmer and The Wrap Reviews Editor Alonso Duralde to reflect on her acting, writing, and most recently, directing career thus far.  The discussion is part of the Outfest West Hollywood Series, a monthly program featuring films and discussions of interest to LGBT audiences at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at West Hollywood Library.

As the New Queer Cinema movement emerged in the early 1990s, Go Fish was a veritable tour de force, an instrumental factor in the queer film movement, finding both success and critical acclaim.  Since then, both the genre and social politics have starkly, albeit gradually, evolved. “The evolution has been so intense that ‘queer cinema’ itself seems like an antiquated concept!” Turner says.  “We are finally inching toward a universe where just having gay characters isn't enough - we have to be interesting and unique just like regular people.”

Guinevere with V.S. Brodie in Go Fish 

Go Fish received the prestigious Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival, and it was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.  It was at Sundance that Guinevere met Kevin Smith, and would go on to work with him on his indie classic, Chasing Amy.  “ With Chasing Amy, I was basically his unofficial Lesbian Consultant,” Guinevere jokes.  (She also had a role in the film).  When asked what was like working with the notoriously crass Jersey boy, Kevin Smith, she adds, “ Believe me, there is no question too inappropriate for Mr. Smith.”  Turner would also appear in Smith’s later film Dogma, starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Turner has remained very prevalent in LGBT film and television, with credits like Itty Bitty Titty Committee, Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf, and The L Wordto her name.  Still, she sees a shift in mainstream cinema and television, particularly through changes in technology, as well as social politics. “Because of how we watch now, which is mostly online, and because of web series and all that is available because of that, we just have so many queer characters that there isn't time to watch them all.  What profound luxury. Another huge difference now is a trans presence in our films.  That was barely present back then.”  The announcement that Orange Is the New Blackactress Laverne Cox will be presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards is undoubtedly indicative of this latter shift, and hopefully a sign of an increase in transgender stars and characters in the future.

In 2000, Turner co-wrote American Psycho, a screenplay she adapted with Mary Hannon, whom Turner says “was especially fun to write American Psychowith while she was pregnant.”  In the film, Turner delivers the line “No! I'm not a lesbian. Why do you think I'd be into that?” - A subtle joke, as Turner is openly gay.

Guinevere with Christian Bale in American Psycho

While tonight’s discussion will be a reflection of Turner’s career, the qualification “to date,” must not be ignored, as Turner shows no sign of slowing down. “I write until I get lonely, then act until I get sick of people,” she says.  “ Directing is relatively new to me and I love it and am learning how to do it to the best of my ability, but that is by far the hardest job!   So much responsibility, so many choices that are yours and yours alone. Frightening, but very appealing to a control freak like me.”

The Outfest West Hollywood Series “An Evening With Guinevere" Turner promises to be a fun and candid discussion.  It begins tonight at 7:30pm.  Get more information and tickets here. 


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Annie Hollenbeck