3 October 2018 | Marc_Horrickan
A Strong, if heavily Anglo-centric, History of Lesbian Cinema
Caroline Berler has managed to put together a snappy survey history of Lesbian Cinema, which is skewed largely toward the US indie and activist scene. You have all of the significant players interviewed here, from Barbara Hammer to Desiree Akhavan.
I particularly enjoyed Cheryl Dunye's account of how with a little help from, connected figures like Michael Stipe, she was able to put together a 2-3 million dollar budget for her African-American dykes in prison TV drama STRANGER INSIDE (2001). This would be HBO's first foray into indie cinema, which places Dunye at the very beginning of an unlikely zeitgeist. You also can't really get enough of B. Ruby Rich's slant on cinema, particularly her riff on lesbian vampirism in the late sixties and early seventies.
This is a little bit of a canon-builder of a doc and will probably serve the purpose of a lesbian cinema primer in many film courses. It's upbeat positivism is slightly put in relief by Rose Troche's final wary proclamation that things aren't fully there yet, although the film's being produced now are interesting. With the exception of a brief foray into the world of Chantal Akerman there wasn't really much in the way of a global outlook in the doc. Perhaps, an intersectionist survey would seek to examine how lesbian cinema evolves different paradigm structure, where it is present, within other national / regional cinemas. All in all, this is a thoroughly engaging opening gambit in what will hopefully be a more concentrated exploration of 'other' cinemas.