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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: fried green tomatoes

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Fried Green Tomatoes: Through visiting an elderly lady at a nursing home and listening to her stories, a middle-aged Southern women learns to take pride in her femininity and take control of her own life.

Country: USA, 1991

Original Language: English

Rating: 4.5/5

Zavi thinks: So, the one-line description of this movie makes it sound like it was meant to be a Lifetime movie for middle-aged married women.  It’s not – this movie is simply very hard to summarize (though its seemingly innocent appeal made it the first queer movie I ever watched – and with my conservative parents at that). The one-line description, though technically the plot of this movie, is not the reason to watch “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  This film makes the top ten list because of the queer love story that is framed within it – a tale of powerful love that overcomes all cultural and social obstacles. Mary Louise Parker is super hot in this film. So is her love interest. You have to …

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QMR: saving face

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Saving Face: In this romantic comedy, a young Chinese-American lesbian struggles between following her heart and fulfilling the expectations of her very traditional Chinese family.

Country: USA, 2004

Original Language: English and Mandarin Chinese

Rating: 5/5

Zavi thinks: This is possibly my favorite lesbian movie ever. A lot of queer romantic films fall flat in exploring the motives and desires behind the lead character’s love, but in “Saving Face,” the clashes between both generations and different cultures are explored in considerable depth. The “squee factor” for me is quite high in this movie. From the perspective of a student, I love that the characters speak clear, understandable Mandarin (meaning I can claim that watching this movie is “language practice”). Also, from the perspective of a person from a very “traditional” family, I really enjoy that this film explores the tension between parents truly wanting the best for their children and children truly not wanting the same thing as the parents’ expectation. This movie would be great for either …

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