Kept & Dreamless (2005/Global Lens Collection) + Lavender Limelight – Lesbians In Film +
Lesbian Nation (First Run Features
C+/C/C Sound: C+/C/C Extras: C+/C/D Main Programs: C+/B-/B
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.
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.
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.
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