out on DVD (it’s gay pride month!)
Lesbian (and Gay) Indies Find Rooms of Their Own on DVD
It would happen in Salt Lake City, of all places. Last autumn, more than a few happy, unsuspecting Mormon kin units sat down for what they thought was going to be a pleasant evening of family entertainment with the DVD Sons of Provo, a squeaky-clean mockumentary about an LDS boy band. What they got, instead, was Adored: Diary of a Porn Star, a nonpornographic but not exactly wholesome melodrama. (In an “anti-porn” move, HaleStorm Entertainment, Sons of Provo’s distributor, offered a $100 bounty on all misrecorded copies of its DVD — one wonders how many nice Mormons passed up the reward and kept the cinematic forbidden fruit…)
It was an innocent manufacturing mixup, but it did bring a spotlight on Adored’s distributor, Wolfe Video and Releasing, the world’s largest exclusive purveyor of GLBT — gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender — films. Or, as Wolfe terms it, LGBT: Kathy Wolfe, the company’s founder, was a documentary filmmaker who couldn’t find an outlet for her films about lesbians, so she started her own in 1985. Today, “the management and ownership of the company is all lesbian,” says Wolfe president Maria Lynn. “We began as a source for lesbian film and branched out into gay film — most companies do it the other way around.”
Certainly, Wolfe’s offerings today include plenty of gay films, like the recent releases Ice Men, a buddy drama with a surprising gay twist, and Almost Normal, a spin on Peggy Sue Got Married in a which a middle-aged gay man who wishes he was “normal” is fantastically transported back to his high school days only to find that he’s now straight in a world in which homo is the norm. But by sheer coincidence, Wolfe’s very newest discs are almost exclusively about the girls. And since even during Gay Pride month, the girls tend to take a backseat to the guys, here’s a rundown of the lesbian flicks adventurous movie lovers of any orientation may want to check out:
• Show Me is stylish Canadian thriller from writer/director Cassandra Nicolaou. When street kid Jenna (Katharine Isabelle from Ginger Snaps) and her boyfriend kidnap yuppie Sarah (Michelle Nolden), well, suspense of both the erotic and nonerotic kinds ensue.
• Robin’s Hood is a sophisticated shot-on-video crime drama about a car mechanic who calls herself Brooklyn who gives her new girlfriend, a weary SoCal social worker, a taste of the street and a new way to help the downtrodden: by giving away the proceeds from their bank heists. A smart film with wonderful performances.
• The Journey is a luscious Indian film about two young women, lifelong best friends, who surprise themselves — and their traditional village — by falling in love.
• Unveiled was one of Advocate Magazine’s Top 10 films of 2005, and it’s no wonder: this is an enthralling, heartbreaking tale of an Iranian woman who escapes persecution by fleeing her country but cannot escape the yearnings of her own heart.
• The Ultimate Lesbian Short Film Festival is an intriguing and diverse collection of 10 short films from around the planet about the particular fears and hopes of this female minority.
Other resources for original independent GLBT films:
In addition to carrying GLBT titles from other studios and distributors, it also features its own titles from TLAreleasing. Just out this week on DVD is the Canadian cross-generational drama Eighteen, starring Alan Cumming and Ian McKellen. And coming soon: the Australian thriller Feed (7/25) and this spring’s romantic comedy Adam & Steve (8/8).
It’s not quite DVD, but it’s movies when you want ’em, which is almost as good. The satellite and cable-on-demand service Here! offers up a slew of GLBT flicks and nothing but all month long, including its own original movies, such as In Her Line of Fire, a suspense drama starring Mariel Hemingway as a Secret Service agent and America’s “first lesbian action hero,” now playing; and Shock to the System: A Donald Strachey Mystery, starring camp-queen Morgan Fairchild and Chad Allen as “Albany’s favorite gay detective,” debuting this summer.
(Technorati tags: Wolfe Video, GLBT movies, DVD, TLAvideo, Here TV)
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