Lesbian FilmGirl's Night OUT

by Tina Alexander

Every summer there tends to be that one lesbian flick that every self-respecting dyke clammers to see. First there was Go Fish and then The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love. This summer the girls actually have choices, most notably Chasing Amy and All Over Me.

1Chasing Amy is the third and final installment in writer-director Kevin Smith's New Jersey trilogy, following Clerks and Mallrats. Dazed and Confused's stars Ben Affleck and Jason Lee play Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards, comic book creators in their mid-to-late twenties who've been best friends all their lives. Holden and Banky meet fellow comic book artist Alyssa Jones (Joey Adams) at a comics convention, and in the famed Meow Mix scene, the clueless duo discover that not all women "need a good dicking." They're the only two men in the room and, more importantly, the women seem quite content on their own. Which prompts macho Banky and Sapphic Alyssa to try to top each other with accounts of their sexual exploits. Later, Alyssa issues a heart-wrenching monologue on her irrefutable identity as a lesbian, but eventually sleeps with Holden anyway. After years of searching for that special someone, Alyssa found a man. Big surprise, right? If you can tolerate Joey Adams's annoying voice, go find out whether Alyssa renounces her life of lesbianism for her white stallion, and whether Holden will be able to accept Alyssa's temporarily lesbian past. And pay special attention to the parking lot scene after the hockey game. The melodrama is worth it...

2All Over Me does not lead straight men on to believe that lesbians are looking for the "right man" or that men have some chance of getting down our pants, but this movie is no gem of lesbian culture either. It's the lesbian version of Kids, complete with sex scenes between 15-year-olds and graphic portrayals of drug addiction. Filmmaking sisters Alex and Sylvia Sichel present a coming-of-age story of two teenage girls in Hell's Kitchen. They perpetuate the belief that everyone secretly knows their best friend was their real first love. The entire trajectory of All Over Me deals with a young girl's self-discovery of her sexual orientation, her priorities and values. Look out for the hot pink-haired guitarist, Leisha Hailey (of the Murmurs), though. She's the highlight of this movie. Her innocence is adorable.

3Another film to watch is Female Perversions, an exploration of how society can shape and distort a woman's sense of her own sexuality and identity. Tilda Swinton stars as Eve, a high-powered attorney who juggles a demanding career, a boyfriend, a lesbian lover, and a sister with kleptomania in this provocative drama based on psychoanalytic case histories. The film examines the powerlessness women feel in the face of patriarchy, and the resulting self-destructive behavior. Like the other films, it attempts to address real life issues that are not easily resolved. The endings of these three movies are not cute and sweet. The filmakers ground the viewers in the harshness of life beyond the coming out experience and create complex characters. While none of these movies will become a lesbian classic, each does make fine date material...

4And for a more off-beat first look at queer films and film-making, make your way to The 9th Annual New York Lesbian & Gay Film Festival running at The Public Theater and The NY Film Academy June 5-15. Catch short flics examining the oxymoron of Dyke Fashion, a documentary on the Riot Grrrl music scene, and full-length features full of women locking lips.

Dasha Snyder had herself quite an operation this month, so Tina Alexander graciously stepped in to write Girls' Night Out. Tina's spent the past two years in special events production and entertainment marketing, working to run Shedevil, a mixed Tuesday lounge; WOW Wednesdays, a weekly lesbian dance party; and Girls on Top, a monthly dance party at Cafe Con Leche. For more info on her events, e-mail GirlScene@aol.com or call 212.560.2290.

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