Between my junior and senior year of high school, I drove an ice cream truck in my hometown Belleville, Ill. My truck broke down near this little bar called Lil’s Tavern. I had heard rumblings about this tavern. I had an aunt and uncle who lived near there, so we would barbecue with them, and I heard words bandied about like “bulldyke” and “he-she.” I knew they would have a phone where I could call the boss, so I went in and in the corner was a table with six big ol’ butch dykes. Like, monster butch dykes. I had never seen one before. It was noon or so, and it was completely empty except for these six huge dykes playing poker. And one of them looked up at me and yelled, “Hey, baby butch!” I’ll never forget it. I did one of those look-around takes, like, “Oh, she’s talking to me.”
NOVEMBER 8: Blue is the Warmest Colour is released (2013)
The film Blue is the Warmest Colour was first released in the United Kingdom
on this day in 2013. After becoming the breakout film of the 2013 Cannes Film
Festival, lesbians everywhere waited with baited breath for the roll out of Blue is the Warmest Colour into theaters.
Blue is the Warmest Colour was first released in its home country of France on October 9, 2013 (x).
Based on Julie Maroh’s 2010
graphic novel of the same name, Blue is the Warmest Colour tells the story of a
15-year-old girl named Adèle whose life gets turned upside down when she meets
and falls in love with a blue-haired girl named Emma. After bumping into Emma
on the street one day, Adèle becomes fixated on her and daydreams of her at school, home, and even during sex with her boyfriend. While partying at a gay club with her friends, Adèle
wanders off and finds herself at a lesbian bar and in the presence of the
mysterious blue-haired girl once again. The two enter
into an exciting new relationship, but one that eventually becomes a rocky adult
relationship as Adèle and Emma struggle with keeping the spark between them throughout
In May of 2013, Blue is the Warmest Colour unanimously
won the Palme d'Or and the FIPRESCI
Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It also made history by its two lead
actresses – Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos – being just the second and
third actresses to ever be awarded the Palme
d'Or. Although the film came into great controversy for its use of the
straight male gaze and the sexually exploitative working conditions established
by director Abdellatif Kechiche, it still placed at the top of many
publications “Best of 2013” lists and was even nominated for a BAFTA and Golden
Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In spite of its flaws both in front
of and behind the camera, the success of Blue
is the Warmest Colour has afforded it a place in lesbian culture and film
So, I’ve watched quite a few queer-related movies in the past few weeks. Here’s a recap of the ones I’ve watched (and ones I’m going to watch) and how I’ve rated them.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour: 5/10 Brownie points for Lea Seydoux being Lea Seydoux, but it’s a no-go for the male gaze-oriented sex scenes. And Adele’s snot-crying at the end. And for Emma calling Adele a slut… I love and hate that scene both at the same time. But mainly hate. Also, it’s long and in all French, so you better put on the subtitles and have a good 3 hours to just chill.
High Tension: 7/10 Cecile de France is amazing in this film (read: her haircut is hot), and I’m sad her character had such a bad ending. The gore is slightly over-the-top, but terrific in its execution (so many bad puns. I apologize). Although most of it is in French and dubbed in some places, I would still watch it again in a heartbeat. The suspense and the tension were high (again, I’m sorry, I can’t help it) but the ending does not bode well for LGBT folks. As is such with many films in the horror genre, the concept of sexuality is a misused and abused one.. but it makes for great fanfiction (mine, since it’s one of the only TWO fanfics posted on the internet from this fandom).
But I’m A Cheerleader: 6/10 Too campy for my taste, but I shipped Megan and Graham from the moment Graham said “I like girls” while staring at Megan. It’s a very good film to watch if you need to distract yourself from the reality of living at the Pray The Gay Away summer camp your parents just sent you to “for your own good.” Also, Natasha Lyonne plays Nicky Nichols in OITNB, so… yeah. Brownie points all around.
Imagine Me & You: 11/10 Yes, I gave it an eleven. (These go to eleven.) I absolutely LOVED this movie. Luce, The Florist, is amazing. Rachel, The Married Woman, is adorable. Heck, The Token Male Character, is… awkward and sweet and a necessary evil for the plot. But the romance! Literally, kids, I’m never watching The Notebook during a sleepover as long as I’ve got this movie. It’s fucking adorable and British and the witty dialogue is on point.
The Runaways: 7.5/10 I didn’t know I shipped KStew and Dakota Fanning until I watched this movie. And the portrayal of Joan Jett was amazing- the old middle-school me that was obsessed with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (and My Chemical Romance… we all have our punk phases) was amazed at how Joan Kristen was. Even down to their hair-flip thing. I mean, Kristen should sing more. And wear tighter t-shirts more often, you know what I’m saying?
Better Than Chocolate: 8/10 This movie would be a seven, if I hadn’t loved the trans* character of Judy so much which added a brownie point. It was a cute comedy, and I liked the friendship between Judy and the mom, Lila. Also, Christina Cox as Kim (girlfriend goals second only to Luce The Florist)… and the sexy painting scene around 20 minutes in… yep. Except for the random scary break-in near the end, this movie was sweet and definitely better than chocolate.
The Kids Are All Right; Lost and Delirious; Bloomington; Loving Annabelle; My Summer of Love; When Night Is Falling; Mulholland Drive; Heavenly Creatures; Bound; Room In Rome; Cracks; Itty Bitty Titty Committee; Martyrs; The Moth Diaries; The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister; Tipping The Velvet; Desert Hearts; Go Fish and Fried Green Tomatoes.
Anyone have any other suggestions? I’ll try and watch Affinity and Fingersmith (or better yet, read them) if I can find any copies of them lying around the library. Sadly, no luck so far.
Consider this my pseudo-”summer reading” assignment, although I can’t buy lesbian-themed books (aside from The Price of Salt that I bought and have hiding in the bottom of my dresser to read at night with the door closed- it’s so good!) or else my mother will find them and ask too many questions. I feel like I smuggled in drugs or something, when I went to buy the book at Barnes and Noble. It was the fastest I’d ever been through a checkout. :)