Now Playing Tracks

Tina Paulina: Living on Hope Street

Filmmaker Barbara Green meets Tina while walking through downtown LA. The interview, filmed through a fish eye lens, showcases Tina’s hope and optimism despite the odds. This film engages an intersectional dialogue through exploration of class and race. That Tina Paulina is filmed half in black and white and half in color establishes a visual narrative of complicating the construction of truth and legitimacy, much like how problems of the LGBTQ community struggle to gain notice within normative society.

INTERSECTIONALITY: *****

DISRUPTANCE: *****

NON-NORMATIVE: *****

Complicated Queerness: Living Femme in a Dyke Community

Johanna Buchignani and Emily Hillman’s short documentary “Complicated Queerness” explores the dynamics of gender and power within the San Francisco queer community.  Interviews with several self-identified femmes are spliced together as to reveal that even within a group living outside the bounds of heteronormative values there is still a need to defend sexual identity; to fulfill social requirements of fitting within a category.  Buchignani and Hillman’s film works to question these societal constructions, bringing awareness to the issue of power in relation to “the way to be gay.”  The documentary encounters a very specific cross-section of San Francisco’s queer community, and does not provide a vast, relatable experience outside of the white activist groups.  The film, however, does call for a rejection of established preconceptions and disruptance of norms.  The ultimate message can ring true for any body of people: projection of self regardless of communal expectation. 

INTERSECTIONALITY: *

DISRUPTANCE: ****

NON-NORMATIVE: ***

(Upcoming screening: May 22nd, 2011)

Directed by and featuring Cheryl Dunye, The Watermelon Woman takes a meta-analysis on the constructions of race,  gender, and sexuality. The film, which was released in 1996, was the first feature length film directed by a black lesbian. The Watermelon Woman follows the story of Cheryl in her quest to discover the true identity of an unnamed black actress that she becomes enamored with while watching fictional film “Plantation Memories.”  Cheryl determines to create a documentary unearthing the story of the forgotten actress, establishing her as an important figure in cinema’s history.  The film depicts the complicated struggle involved in creating a history where none is previously recorded, particularly as its focus fixates on a lesbian woman of color acting in the 1930s, a time of intolerance and bigotry.  The most striking aspect is Dunye’s adeptness in disrupting the myth of the monolith for marginalized communities. Dunye presents the black lesbian community as reflective of any human population: not without flaw. This individuation complicates perilous pre-conceived fictionalizations of ‘victim-hood’ which serve normative populations’ in paternal treatment of marginalized communities.  Content and form work together symbiotically to distance this film from industry norms. 

INTERSECTIONALITY: *****

DISRUPTANCE: *****

NON-NORMATIVE: *****

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