Two-Spirit stories are more important than ever. In the past, their stories were forcibly silenced, but today, their still unheard stories put a different spin on notions like "traditional values" and issues like same-sex marriage and immigration. These stories are also a source of healing for Two-Spirits and the larger Native American community.
Through filmmaking, queer, lesbian, and bi-sexual Native American can tell their stories, and all films made during the sixteen-week workshop will premier at the 2010 Queer Women of Color Film Festival, now in its sixth year.
That's not the only cool thing QWOCMAP is currently up to. This year marks their 10th anniversary, and they're releasing a DVD of their films, Multiple Borders which focuses on queer immigration.
I wince whenever I hear a movie described as "not your average chick flick," because while I want it to mean "intriguing, character-driven film on what it means to be a contemporary woman that just might have mass appeal!", it usually means is "It's a chick flick. There's just more vulgarity and boobs so your boyfriend will buy a ticket." The latest contender is Women in Trouble, which debuted at SXSW this spring. Writer/director Sabastian Gutierrez describes his new film as a "a comedy about a serpentine day in the life of ten seemingly disparate women – including a porn star, a flight attendant, a businesswoman, a psychiatrist, a masseuse, a bartender and a pair of call girls."
Wow! There were a lot of skinny white women in lingerie and tight clothes in that trailer! But I also saw a female-centric film (although it's written by a dude, although that dude has collaborated with Almódovar, although Almódovar recently...I DIGRESS!) and a plot revolving around more than relationship woes (wonder how they'll handle that unplanned pregnancy....). Plus that 13-year old seems pretty awesome. It's obvious this movie isn't your average "Lonely successful career girl doesn't even know she's falling in love--and it's the best thing to ever happen to her!" That being said, I do suspect there is some female bonding and heart-to-hearts (to say nothing of Josh Brolin and Jospeh Gordon-Levitt's presence for chrissake!) But you guys, this is NOT A CHICK FLICK. Take their word for it....
Quiz: Is this still from... a) Jenny Slate's new short Eff-You you Effing Eff-wad? b) a promo from the 2009 Quirkfest Filmfest?
or c) Juno II: All Grown Up?
It's actually from Obvious Child, a short film by Gillian Robespierre which combines a little of all of the above, but with one major difference: it's a funny, well-made movie that deals with unplanned pregnancy. (Spoiler alert: she gets an abortion and doesn't think twice about it!) Read on for the full film!
Though I appreciated and enjoyed "Wall-E," I took issue with the baffling insistence of the filmmakers to gender the robots. A love story between machines is an interesting prospect with very queer implications, but clearly signaling gender seems like a counterintuitive safeguarding against an overly-sensitive and ultimately homophobic population.
"Today's Made Us Think comment comes from "Elly," who writes in response to Missy Schwartz's interview with Jane Campion,
I suspect a large reason there are so few well-known female filmmakers may be that so many female writers, directors etc. are too focused on the lack of "just for women" entertainment, and so tend to turn out stuff with distinct agendas for distinct female audiences — i.e. the 'empowerment' Campion spoke of — instead of just focusing on making a good product. I see it all the time in books – I rarely read sci-fi or fantasy by female authors, because the story is usually just there as a weak afterthought to help move the rant along, the real point of the book being to obsess over what patriarchal pigs men can be. Case in point: Margaret Atwood.
That's one theory, and it certainly got us thinking. What about you?"
As to be expected, responses in the comments section ranged from ignorant to sound:
Sometimes after watching a movie trailer I have an immense desire to experience the film despite my having no real understanding of what it is about. The crispness of the three-minute preview of UK filmmaker Sally Potter'sRage has caused a pleasing chemical reaction in my brain, and after reading more about Potter's work, I am convinced a full viewing will be all the more pleasureful.
As a result, I've been thinking about women and food in film and have come up with a short list of women preparing and/or enjoying food on screen. Some of these I've seen, and some I haven't, but here's a delicious sampling to whet your appetites!
My husband's response: "Well, duh." (As you can probably guess, I relate to smart, sophisticated, powerful, independent women – I bet most of you do too. ;)
Elizabeth Tudor (1533-1603) was a complicated and fascinating woman who continually made it clear that she was rising above the perceived limitations of her sex to lead her country. She was known as The Virgin Queen; though whether or not she was a virgin in the literal sense remains debatable – she certainly belonged to no man. In fact, she claimed she was married to England.
She did entertain suitors (and often pitted them against one another) in order to gain political advantage. Marriage, of course, would have meant losing control of her affairs, and after having seen what her father did to her mother, Anne Boleyn, and to her sister's mother, Catherine of Aragon, as well as to her subsequent step-mothers, she was savvy to avoid such entanglements. As she famously said, "Better beggar woman and single than Queen and married," – a belief that ensured Good Queen Bess a freedom rarely afforded female monarchs.
Elizabeth I is a woman that captures the imagination, and many actresses have played her over the years – from Sarah Bernhardt's silent portrayal in 1912'sLes amours de la reine Élisabeth to Bette Davis in the Hollywood drama The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex in 1939 to Helen Mirren in Elizabeth I in 2005.
Listed below, in no particular order, are but a few of the women (and one man) who have most notably played the Virgin Queen in all her tempestuousness and grace.
In this, the second part of my email interview with directors Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Dawn Valadez, the collaborators talk about breaking the rules of documentary filmmaking, getting the girls to open up on camera, how their film can be used in classrooms, and their future projects.