There are people who find beauty in “the forbidden” and in those things that are difficult to achieve, although sometimes you might think, just for one second, that they are not so unattainable.
I love having this feeling whenever I watch a movie because for me going to the cinema is something that brings your dreams closer and, at the same time, makes you understand the beauty of the routine.
I have two main passions: one is films and the other one, women. So for me, what could be more fascinating and beautiful than a love scene between two women?
This is why I love to watch lesbian films, and if we speak about cinematographic lesbians, we cannot forget to mention Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo.
Dietrich winked at homosexuality early on in the 30s in the film Morocco (Josef Von Sternberg, 1930), where she shot a scene in a club dressed up as a man—smoking and kissing a girl. Greta Garbo played Queen Cristina (Rouben Mamoulian, 1933) a Swedish queen who was famous for being a lesbian.
I love Dietrich, Garbo and Crawford, and I also love the type of woman that they represent. They played strong and confident female characters, and their attitude is indeed what makes them so attractive, sensual and irresistible for many women.
Unfortunately, this androgyny did not please Hollywood as much as me, and homosexual content was censored in the film industry for 30 years. This pattern changed in the 60s, but just to introduce tormented gay characters that did nothing on the big screen but to suffer and be unhappy.
For this reason, I do not like The Children’s Hour (William Wyler 1961) in which the wretched Martha (Shirley McLane) suffers for the forbidden and impossible love of Karen (Audrey Hepburn).
But now I would like to recommend 5 films that you should definitely watch if you love women and cinema as much as I do.
FUCKING ÅMÅL (Lukas Moodysson, 1998)
I first watched this film some years ago at a festival. I really identified because I know very well what it feels like to fall in love with the popular and most beautiful girl in high school and, honestly, who has never felt this way at least once in their life?
This is the story of a girl, Agnes, who is new in the town of Amal and is, secretly, in love with Elin, who seems like an unrealistic dream for her. This a perfect film in all senses, the story itself, the way it is narrated, the characters. However, most importantly, the film portrays something very difficult: reconciling yourself with your “darkest object of desire” and therefore restoring hope in you. Mainly because it makes you see that sometimes what you find different and distant to you, may not be as different as you imagine.
GIA (Michael Cristofer, 1998)
I used to like Gia so much that I have found myself several times not being able to stop looking at her pictures. She was the first supermodel of the 80s and only her wild beauty exceeded her meteoric career.
Gia is the kind of woman you cannot stop looking at. Angelina Jolie played Gia in the biopic with the same name—which is a huge melodrama—one of those that keep you mourning for days. Her presence and the sex scenes with her lover Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell) left me breathless, staring at the screen with my heart in my throat.
DESERT HEARTS (Donna Deitch, 1985)
I could not like this film more, truthfully because I am, like the main character, a cowboy at heart. Jeans, cowboy hats, girls who ride horses or drive Mustangs like Thelma and Louise turn me on. Well, even more if those girls are Susan Sarandon or Geena Davis.
The film, set in Nevada in 1959, tells the story of a recently divorced woman that discovers love and sex in the arms of a cowboy heart like me. One of the reasons why I love this film so much is because I find the sex scene sexy, warm and overwhelming. By the way, I urge the actresses from the L Word to watch this in order to know how a lesbian sex scene should look like—as far as I am concerned, they didn’t check so many references.
The main actresses were very courageous because it was shot in 1985, and at that time it was still very difficult to find actresses who were willing to partake in explicit lesbian scenes.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2 (Jane Anderson, Martha Coolidge, Anna Heche, 2000)
I struggled to decide whether this would be the fourth film, because this film—which is divided into 3 chapters—has a 1st and 2nd part that are pretty good but the last one fell short.
In fact, I always completely ignore the last part when I review the first two chapters.
I must say that I could not talk about women that I like and lesbian films without mentioning Chloë Sevigny, because I adore her. Watching her acting is always wonderful, but in this film her tomboy style, unbuttoned shirt and Harley driving are unsurpassed.
I guess you’re thinking I have a thing for Tomboy girls? Well, I like girls who, like Chloë, are sexy just because they are, in any circumstance.
This chapter takes part in 1973, the first one in 1961 and the last one at present time. They are all set in the same house, which serves as connecting frame for the stories.
LA VIE D’ADÈLE (Abdel Kechiche, 2013)
I have not watched this movie yet, but I’m really looking forward to its premiere in the German cinemas because it has already received some interesting reviews.
The film, that won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is preceded by the controversy of the difficult relations between the director and the actresses. I think that the actress Adèle Exarchopoulos is going to be a great discovery and that the film will be full of intense and provocative scenes.
But since I haven’t watched the film yet, here are some reviews that I find cheering:
Justin Chang, Variety: “the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory”
Jonathan Romney, Screendaily: “The love scenes are strikingly fresh in the context of mainstream cinema, not just for their uninhibited intensity, but in the fact that they’re about female pleasure presented in a direct, non-mystificatory way”
“…what you get is something extremely rare – a film that catches the messy, hot complexity of life and love”
More films that I like: Boys Don’t cry (1999), Two girls in Love (1995), Saving Face (2004), Fire (1996), Tipping the Velvet (2002), Spider Lilies (2007).
by Bárbara Cameán