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QMR: when night is falling

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When Night is Falling:  After the death of close friend, Camille, a teacher at a conservative Christian college, starts questioning everything in her life and embarks into an unexpected romance.

Country: Canada, 1995

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: The romance in this movie feels very real, and that’s probably my favorite part.  Camille’s struggle to make sense of her desire for a woman is fully played out, and anyone who has ever experienced unexpected romantic feelings will relate to her story.  Definitely a good movie to watch on a date night.

Panda thinks: I think this is definitely the best film that Patricia Rozema has ever made (some of her earlier films were just a bit too strange and arthouse-y).  I felt that Camille fully examined and dealt with her conflicted feelings, as opposed to some lesbian films where main characters seemingly without care throw their past life away.  The complexity of this movie made it feel very …

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QMR: tipping the velvet

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Tipping the Velvet: This three part series follows the life of a young lesbian in 19th century England as she struggles to find a relationship and career. Based on the novel by Sarah Waters.

Country: UK, 2002

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: ‘Made for television’ movies are a totally different thing when done by the BBC rather than Hallmark or Lifetime.  This film is a fascinating fantasy trip and is very well made.  The first time I watched it was quite late at night, and I had decided I would just watch one segment – yeah right.  Even though each part is an hour long, I just couldn’t stop watching.  Each of the three sections have a totally different feel to them, ranging from light to dark to surreal, yet they fit together quite well.

Panda thinks: Weird at times and somewhat dark, this film contained a lot of elements that I wasn’t expecting, such as BDSM.  I …

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QMR: if these walls could talk 2

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If These Walls Could Talk 2:  This film explores different cultural and political eras of lesbian history by following the storylines of lesbian couples in three different decades.

Country: USA, 2000

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Zavi thinks: This movie is neat for several reasons.  One, it makes the challenges that queer women have faced over the decades personal to the modern-day viewer.  Two, the fact that all three of the stories (from the ’60s, 70’s and ’00s) are set in the same house provides a neat central link.  Three, none of the stories are cliches, which is quite refreshing.  My favorite story is the first one, of the elderly couple in the ’60s (warning: is very sad though :P).

Panda thinks: It was weird to see Ellen in this movie, playing a real lesbian ha.  I thought the storyline about the struggle between ‘liberated’ lesbians and butch/masculine/genderqueer lesbians was a good example of conflicts that arose during second wave feminism (and that some of these divides still …

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QMR: milk

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Milk: A fairly factual account of the personal life and rise to political power of LGBTQ rights advocate Harvey Milk.

Country: USA, 2008

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Zavi thinks: Watching this film allows one to not only get a good overview of the facts and history surrounding Milk’s life, but also of the social and political climate of that era.  It really draws you into the struggles of the ’70s and ’80s for queers to obtain basic civil rights and be seen as valuable members of society.

Panda thinks: This was a movie that was waiting to be made for a long time.  With all history movies, the story essentially already exists, it’s just a matter of putting it on to film.  Some films of this manner are only worth watching for their historical value, but “Milk” is a masterpiece of storytelling as well.  Sean Penn is an amazing Harvey Milk.  This film could just as easily be shown in an American politics or history class as …

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QMR: sordid lives

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Sordid Lives: When forced to return to his small Texas hometown for a funeral, a young gay man must finally come out to his family, and the family as a whole must deal with its many secrets.

Country: USA, 2000

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Zavi thinks: It takes a few minutes for this film to get rolling, but once it does, its complex layers of dry humor make it absolutely hilarious.  Billed as a “black comedy about white trash,” this film perfectly captures the unique nuances of being in a large Southern family, from the idea that ‘a-statement-isn’t-judgmental-if-you-say-bless-their-heart-at-the-end’ to the concept that ‘even-though-everyone-knows-we-just-don’t-talk-about-it’.  This movie isn’t just for the Southern niche, however.  Anyone who has ever left a small hometown for a larger city and experienced the challenge of coming home as a different person will relate to it.  This movie is endearing, silly and weird all at once and is great for group movie nights.

Panda thinks: I wasn’t sure what to think of this film …

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