1992 Films

Subway to Tickle Gut Canada 1992 Rosemary House, Anne Fizzard, Ken Pittman One of three films in the “Hall Trilogy” with lots of local talent. Two women with roots in Newfoundland find themselves trapped together on a stalled subway train.
Time Before Thought Canada 1991 Mercedes Barry, Andy Jones, Agnes Walsh The story is an Argentia-Naval-Base-boy-meets-girls-from-Placentia. you've been there, right? First comes love; then comes marriage; then comes social upheaval and the baby carriage. With so many familiar faces, with a tongue-in-cheek expression, with an I-knows-that-place look. Time Before Thought is a fitting welcome to the films to follow.
Toward Intimacy Canada 1992 Debbie McGee A remarkable and moving look at women with disabilities. This film will surprise you in its affirmative study of four disabled women from across Canada who so gracefully express their self-esteem. Laughing at stereotypes, astonished at the limited ways we tend to view them, these women convey a spirit of being that makes us wonder how we ever harboured such silly notions in the first place.
Talk 16 Canada 1991 Adrienne Mitchell, Janis Lundman A much discussed documentary on one of the horrors of modern existence: being a 16-year old girl. In the year-long film project, five different teens were followed, interviewed, and openly engaged in the service of revealing something of what being 16 might be all about. A mixture of amusement and shock informs this film in all its candid, attitudinal richness, and there’s a strong chance that you’ll come away from it feeling only slightly more sympathy for the parents of 16 -year olds.
English Lesson Canada 1991 Shani Mootoo We laughed our guts out at this one. Director Mootoo appropriately calls this piece a video poem and challenges the view of stereotypes, as “Professor” Bernard Fernandes teaches us to speak Trinidadian English.
Women Like That UK 1991 Suzanne Neild A sequel to the previous year’s Women Like Us which followed the lives of 16 lesbians ages 50-80+, this sequel pursues 8 of these women whose lives were irrevocably changed after the initial broadcast in England. A warm and moving tribute to these extraordinary “women like that”.
Doing Time Canada 1991 Lorna Boschman Vancouver artist, Persimmon Blackbridge, collaborated with four ex prison inmates and the result is this visually stunning video. This is a powerful and provoking film that marks an unusual social and artistic event. An award-winning, different, and critically challenging video that shows how much more there is that meets the eye.
Sex and the Sandinistas UK 1991 Lucinda Broadbent This is a powerful punch of a short documentary that gives new meaning to the term “revolutionary”. Filmed by a Nicaraguan crew, this film explores gay and lesbian life in Managua: drag balls, cruising in the ruins, lesbian poetry, and love in uniform. A social Anthropologist’s dream, a documentary filmmaker;s fantasy, Sex and Sandinistas bends in all the right places.
A Song for Tibet Canada 1991 Anne Henderson This stirring and beautiful documentary is a moving film on the efforts of Tibetans-in-exile to preserve their heritage and free their homeland from over 30 years of brutal Chinese occupation. A Song for Tibet is a lyrical tribute to a people and their culture. It elegantly focuses on events in Canada where exiled Tibetans persist in the struggle to liberate their homeland, and where the Canadian government seems too busy gazing up its own peace tower to recognize a revered religious leader like the Dalai Lama when they see him.
Dream On UK 1991 Amber Films An award-winning box-office-breaking dramatic study if the lives of a group of tough, hard-bitten, and recognizably vulnerable women in the small coastal town of Tyneside, in the North East of England. The naturalism of the film shouldn’t be surprising considering that the Amber Film Collective used “real” people alongside actors. This is a world where women play darts seriously, drink and love hard, and grapple furiously with all the men who try to run their lives.
“The Duration of Life” and Other Tales From the Grimms Canada 1990 Amy Bodman An unusual presentation all about storytelling, and accompanied by a real live storyteller Katherine Grier. Think of this film as a part of a performance piece, a narrative study of narratives if you will, making you think of all of the different ways in which you grew up acquiring stories, and what gifts you’ve been making of them ever since. Bodman’s film takes you into the dreamingly unfolding landscape of sight and sound. You might also be surprised to know that this film is about a woman’s decision to return to her husband.
The Bath Canada 1992 JoDee Samuelson This delightfully animated film captures the sheer luxuriousness of a woman’s best friend: water. Rejuvenating private, a bath chases all of the chilly blues away. Indulge in The Bath: no wrinkled skin, we promise.
Superlady Denmark 1991 Vibeke Gad A must-see drama about life in the customer checkout lane. Line is a mother of four typically demanding children, estranged wife of a rather peculiar fellow, and supermarket cashier to the consumer-hungry. However, Line has the soul of an artist and the spirit of a kickboxer, and this film traces the amazingly graceful ways that she’s forced to cope with everything. The film has a kind of theatrical-realism quality and a texture unlike anything you’ve ever seen
Böske Canada 1991 Katharine Kasirer What has white hair, sings Hungarian drinking songs, and throws snowballs at grandchildren who want to make a film about her? Elizabeth, known as Böske, a survivor who lives to tell the tales of her dangerous life to her Montreal granddaughter, the McGill graduate and filmmaker who directed this piece. An immigrant woman’s story told in an unusual way, with a variety of textures and film stocks--more an experiment in flashback technique than a talking head-a-thon.
Gerda Canada 1992 Brenda Longfellow Try this: a feminist reading of the whole sordid Gerda Munsinger sex and spy scandal (1950’s), the true story of how one woman nearly brought down the House--of Commons, that is. This docudrama tells it with a suitable degree of ironic impertinence, mixing archival footage with campy 1950’s sets. the question she so wittingly raises is: was gerda a Soviet espionage agent, prying secrets out of Canadian Cabinet Ministers, or was she just a party girl who liked to hang out with fun politicians? Whatever the answer, she had some remarkably bad press.
Forbidden Love Canada 1992 Lynne Fernie, Aerlyn Wiseman Another film about the 1950’s, this one focusing on lesbians of a not-so-distant period in Canadian social history. Meanwhile, back at the pulp novel store, hundreds of lurid lesbian romances lined the shelves for deep-in-the-closet-reading pleasures. the film argues that these novels opened the way for an emerging dyke culture, such as we are coming to understand in our own times. The film intercuts dramatized scenarios lifted from these novels with nine interview characters, all women who somehow managed to practice same-sex love and endure the flings and showers of outrageous fortune.
Raise the Red Lantern China/Japan 1991 Zhang Yimou Banned in China, this film is gorgeously shot and a disturbingly beautiful parable of life with the Man--That is, Mr. Husband, Mr. Master, Mr. Do-What-I-Say. It is the most exquisite condemnation of patriarchal society you’ll ever see: a tale told by a man. Zhang dared to film the story of your average landowner’s family-one guy, four wives-from the point of view of the wives. A critically acclaimed work of profound achievement.
Now That We Are Persons Canada 1989 Barbara Evans A lively video exploring the headlines of five astonishing women--all Albertans who struggled to ensure women’s eligibility in the Canadian Senate. Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, and Louise McKinney. Five determined community women who developed clever strategies in the landmark “Persons” Case, as it came to be known. Such a little word, such a big struggle.
Poulet Poulet Canada 1991 Virginia Rankin Billed as a “free-range” documentary, this hilarious little look at the role of chicken in our lives will amuse and instruct you on the ways of these ugly feather-dressed friendly creatures. We know nature’s not perfect, but you’ll cluck all the way home after seeing this light-hearted tribute to our often maligned little friends of the coop.
L is For the Way You Look USA 1991 Jean Carlomusto It goes something like this...what happens when Dolly Parton is spotted at a lesbian performance in a well-known New York show space? Why, you get an idea for a highly entertaining video about gossip. Specifically, lesbian gossip of spot-the-dyke variety. A film about storytelling and fans, this film is just too good an idea and too amusing a treatment to ignore.
Stand On Your Man UK 1991 Susan Ardill Originally produced for Channel Four;s groundbreaking lesbian and gay TV series OUT, this film dares to ask the musical question: where do cowgirls come from? Watch British women line up for blocks in spurs and stetsons...hear British accents accompanying Patsy Cline...stamp your feet at tunes by the Well Oiled Sisters...and wonder aloud: is this cultural appropriation, and what planet are we on?
Elling Lien