Lesbian Film Guide: Walk on the Wild Side

by Chris Alderson

This week we delve into the wild side of lesbian film by bringing you the adventures of a variety of women, most operating on the wrong side of the law. They don’t mean to be bad, trouble just seems to keep finding them, it’s not their fault really…
Enjoy!

Joe + Belle

Joe (Veronica Kedar) is a frustrated drug dealer living in Tel Aviv; Belle (Sivan Levy) has recently been released from a mental hospital. Belle has broken into Joe’s apartment and is planning to take her own life in the bathtub, when Joe rudely interrupts her. The sight of the beautiful Joe however, lures Belle into living a little while longer. It isn’t long before the slightly unhinged Belle finds a gun (hidden in the microwave) and accidentally shoots Joe’s ex-boyfriend Matan (Yotam Ishay) who had dropped by to retrieve his belongings. Now lumbered with a body, the two women must figure out what to do with it before the police catch them.
On the run to war torn Sderot, the women encounter situations that are even more bizarre as they attempt to steal a car, take a hostage, and visit a lesbian bar. Despite or maybe because of the crazy circumstances that have lead them on this journey, the women fall in love.
Veronica Kedar writes, directs, and stars in this tender love story played out against the stark contrast of the earlier murder and the sound of bombs exploding. One such bombing leads the women to take cover in a washroom where a sexy hot love scene ensues. The lead actresses’ chemistry is spot on, as smoky sensuality builds into passion.
The dialogue is hilarious in this deliciously dark comedy reminiscent of Thelma and Louise with a lesbian twist.

Language: English/French/Hebrew with English subtitles

My Normal

Enter the world of ‘Taboo’; an S&M lounge where sexual fantasies come to life in New York’s Lower East side. Natalie (Nicole LaLiberte) is a sought after dominatrix because of her unconventional methods and flare for the work.
When Natalie meets Jasmine (Dawn Noel) at a hot lesbian bar, they instantly click. Dirty dancing leads the women to continue their courtship back at Natalie’s apartment. While Jasmine is initially ok with Natalie’s chosen profession, she soon changes her mind after discovering the intimate details of the job. As the relationship progresses, Jasmine pressures Natalie to find a ‘normal‘ job. In an attempt to pacify her, Natalie takes a job as a runner for a film company where Noah (Ty Jones), her friend and drug dealer pedals his wares. When Natalie discovers that Noah is a closet writer, she jumps at the chance to collaborate with him on a screenplay. After conventional means of selling their script fails, Natalie must rely on her well-honed dominatrix skills as a basis for persuasion.
‘My Normal’ blasts open the hidden world of S&M, illuminating a secret world that has been confined to the corner peep show or the sleazy porn film. Director Irving Schwartz has created a uniquely refreshing film that looks at what ‘normal’ really is. Is it a universal state of being or an individual outlook on life?
Nicole LaLiberte is stunning as dominatrix (or alternative therapist) Natalie. Her confident, demeanor makes Natalie infinitely believable in the role and the outfits look fantastic on her. Dawn Noel is gorgeous as Natalie’s girlfriend Jasmine; she heats up the scenes with her super cool style and sensuous dancing. Together the women are smouldering hot as they roll around on Natalie’s white shag rug.

Bound

Corky (Gina Gershon) is an ex-con that has just been released from prison. Violet (Jennifer Tilly) is the girlfriend of Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), the mob’s money launderer. When they meet in the elevator, the look that passes between them is curious if not a little lustful. Corky is doing repair work for the mob in the apartment down the hall (she is good with her hands). Soon Violet is knocking on the door offering coffee and a whole lot more (she know what she wants). When Violet accidentally loses an earring down the sink, Corky is called to retrieve it for her. It isn’t really the earring that Violet is after though and Corky isn’t about to resist a gorgeous woman.
One night, Caesar returns home carrying armfuls of bloody money that the mob’s accountant has swindled. He needs to clean and count the cash before the mob boss arrives to reclaim his money the next evening. This starts Violet thinking, and soon Corky is thinking the same thing. Together they plot a truly ostentatious plan, to rip off the mob and force Caesar to go on the run. Unfortunately, things rarely go as planned.
Director/writers Andy and Lana Wachowski have created a smart, sexy thriller full of meaningful glances and hidden innuendo. The cinematography is brilliant, the visuals display a quirky sense of humour that draws the audience into the story and doesn’t let go until the end.
Jennifer Tilly is captivating as Violet, her slow masterful seduction of Corky is nothing less than enthralling. Gina Gershon’s Corky is the epitome of bad girl clad in sexy tank tops smudged with grease. The women’s hot sex scenes pepper the film with steamy eroticism that makes it a delight to watch.

The Runaways

Streetwise teenage guitarist Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) was like any other teenager, she dreamed of being a rockstar. To make it happen, Jett seeks out and convinces slimy record producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) that her idea for an all-girl rock band could make it big. When he introduces her to drummer Sandy West (Stella Maeve), the band starts to take form. Fowley, looking for an image to front the band, discovers 15-year-old Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) at a club. Lead guitarist Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton) and bass player Robin (Alia Shawkat) round out the band and The Runaways are formed in 1975.
Touting The Runaways as jailbait rather than a tough all-girl band, Fowley signs them with Mercury Records. The relationship between Cherie and Joan begins to grow as does the band’s popularity, but the pressure of rockstar life along with the drugs and alcohol begins to break Cherie. After collapsing, she is taken to the hospital and eventually quits the band altogether. Jett on the other hand, relishes and excels in the fame the band brings and eventually starts her own band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Floria Sigismondi’s film is based on ‘Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway’, Cherie Currie’s biography of her years with The Runaways. The film focuses mainly on the relationship between Cherie Currie and Joan Jett until Currie’s departure from the band two years later.
Kristen Stewart plays cool and sexy Jett in a very believable way, right down to the swagger. In contrast, Dakota Fanning portrays Currie as girly with a hint of fragility that becomes more apparent as she declines into a drug and alcohol induced stupor.

Drool

Abused housewife Anora Fleece (Laura Harring) is bewildered by the state of her own life. She lives in a fantasyland most days, mainly because her real life is too horrible to accept. Her husband Cheb (Oded Fehr) is verbally and physically abusive to her and their two teenaged kids.
When beautiful and vivacious Imogene (Jill Marie Jones) moves in next door, they become friends despite her husband’s bigoted attitude. Anora and Imogene’s relationship becomes closer over coffee and long conversations about life and the Kathy K cosmetics that Imogene sells. When Anora’s husband Cheb catches the women kissing on their bed, he freaks out and tries to kill them. Wrestling the gun out of his grasp, Anora accidentally shoots him.
Imogene brilliantly takes control of the situation and leads Anora and her two teen-aged kids on an adventure in her huge bright purple Kathy K Cosmetics car (with Cheb in the trunk). Imogene takes them to Savannah to visit the one and only Kathy K (Ruthie Austin). Once there, Kathy K relocates Cheb to her bathtub for safekeeping, but how long can a dead body stay there before it is discovered?
Director Nancy Kissam creates a darkly funny romp, which at the heart of it all, is about an abused woman who regains her life, self-worth and finds love.
Scene stealing Jill Marie Jones is hilarious as the wisecracking Imogene. Laura Harring is fantastic as the sad and pathetic Anora who blossoms at the hands of Imogene.

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by: Chris Alderson
Author of the 2012 Lesbian Film Guide – Covering over 300 lesbian themed films from around the globe, the 2012 Lesbian Film Guide provides a comprehensive guide to lesbian movies from the 1950s to present day.

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