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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Lesiban > Shorts > Filmmaking > Kept & Dreamless (2005/Global Lens Collection) + Lavender Limelight – Lesbians In Film + Lesbian Nation (First Run Features DVDs)

Kept & Dreamless (2005/Global Lens Collection) + Lavender Limelight – Lesbians In Film + Lesbian Nation (First Run Features DVDs)


Picture: C+/C/C     Sound: C+/C/C     Extras: C+/C/D     Main Programs: C+/B-/B



In an interesting wave of tiles at the same time, First Run Features is issuing three DVDs dealing with lesbian themes.  One is a mixed drama from Argentina by Vera Fogwill & Martin Desalvo called Kept & Dreamless (2005) and two discs that features the interesting documentary Lavender Limelight – Lesbians In Film.  One disc offers it as a stands-alone program, while Lesbian Nation adds it to four short film dramas on the subject.


Dreamless deals with a sick mother/daughter relationship that borders on incest and child neglect as the mother is an addict and daughter has no guidance or anyone to truly care about her, which puts her in uncomfortable, inappropriate relationships left and right.  Though called a comedy by several of the quotes on the package, I never laughed once and found the whole 94 minutes uneven and problematic. If you are laughing, why?


Lavender deals with purely, explicitly lesbian films by apparently openly lesbian filmmakers, many of whom we have covered on the site before.  Interviewees include Jennie Livingston, Rose Troche, Monika Truet, Maria Maggenti, Su Fredrich, Heather Lyn Macdonald and Cheryl Dunye.  Though I was not impressed by the films I have seen from some of those directors, they are well-spoken and what they say on camera is more memorable than their work.


The four shorts on Nation areas impressive as those films, discussed, if not as noted or groundbreaking including Mitch McCabe’s Playing The Part (1995, about a college gal not being abler to come out to her stuffy family), Jane Schneider’s Jumping The Gun (1996, romanticizing about a one night stand), Ela Troyano’s Carmelita Tropicana: Your Kunst Is Your Waffen (1994, serio-comedy about Latino woman landing up in prison cell) and Barbara Heller’s Little Women In Transit (1996, 12-year-old gal in road trip to hell).  All amusing and worth a look.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is softer than I would have liked, though color can be good and there is some good composition here.  The 1.33 X 1 image on the rest can have aliasing errors and softness, but that can be accounted for by the low budget circumstances they were made under, usually on analog video.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is not great on Lavender or Nation and all maybe a generation down, while Dreamless can be louder than it should be, a bit harsh and slightly unbalanced.  Extras on Dreamless include text bios, director’s statement, a discussion guide, Global Lens Showcase which offers one frame per film with the option of seeing a trailer in some cases and trailer for the 2008 series.  Lavender has text biographies and trailers for some of those films.  Nation has no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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