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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: ma vie en rose

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Ma Vie En Rose (My Life In Pink): Young Ludovic is confident that ze was meant to be born a girl and that god just made a small mistake, but convincing hir family and community proves to be harder than anticipated.

Country: France, 1997

Original Language: French

Rating: 5/5

Zavi thinks: Though this film is overall lighthearted, it touches on many quite serious issues, such as hate crimes and class differences.  As an innocent child, Ludovic simply cannot understand why others feel so threatened by hir non-binary gender, and hir struggle to be hirself brings up the issue of gender panic. Though dealing with some very adult issues, the young star of this film remains utterly endearing.

Panda thinks: Ma Vie En Rose effectively blends fantasy and reality, much in the way that I imagine a child’s mind would.  The film offers a unique first person perspective on the early struggles of child questioning hir gender.  I really love the color and the lighting in this movie.  It …

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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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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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