NEW QUEER VISIONS: LUST IN TRANSLATION - Short Film Collection
Lust In Translation is the new collection of short films from New Queer Visions, available to watch on streaming platform FilmDoo. With seven short films about lesbian and bisexual women, the collection features films from across the world, from the USA to South Africa, Cambodia to Belgium and the UK. We see an unlikely love story, manipulation in a ballet school, a bloodthirsty revenge saga, coming of age in small-town America, a broken woman finding herself again, an affair with a college professor and documentary about a couple who survived the Khmer Rouge. There’s plenty to get your teeth into, so let’s take a look at each of the films.
SHIMI (Belgium) Starring: Keely Céline Verbeeck, Mairi Céline Timmerman, Sarah Astrid Stoops
Director: Kate Maveau A shy and naïve dancer at a ballet school finds her world turned upside down when she meets Mairi, a charismatic older woman seeped in hedonism. Introducing her to sex and alcohol, she leads her from her structured world of strict discipline into a life of freedom and losing control. A dangerous story of manipulation, the director uses light and dark as indicators of corruption, following this young girl’s fall from grace through surreal and lusciously unnerving sequences that visualise her confusion. The bastard love child of Suspiria and Black Swan, you’ll positively drink its rich symbolism peppered amongst the repressed loathing between the dancers at the school. An ambitious short executed with quantifiable artistry.
LOST IN THE WORLD (South Africa) Starring: Honey Makwakwa, Lesley Nkosi
Director: Xolelwa “Ollie” Nhlabatsi In this gritty revenge saga, police officer Whitney begins a frenzied rampage as she seeks to hunt down the murderers of her girlfriend. Exposing a grim and festering urban underbelly, the city streets are concrete and filthy, populated with scum like a neo-Noir meets Chan-wook Park. In this frantic but singular debut from director Nhlabatsi, this a pulse-racing thriller that serves a kick-ass heroine who is as desperate as she is bloodthirsty.
STEVIE (USA) Starring: Chloe Jury-Fogel, Erin Nelson
Director: Chloe Jury-Fogel In a small town in Middle America, Stevie is a lone wolf tomboy who loves basketball and refuses to be called by her real name, Stephanie. When a brother and sister move nearby, the brother asks her out on a date, but it’s the sister that she find herself drawn to more. A tender portrait of a young woman’s self-identity, this is a simple but nuanced piece of filmmaking that relies heavily on its characters’ subtext. With metre-deep snow all around them, the harshness of the landscape has crept into Stevie’s steel facade, but this film manages adeptly to crack her surface and see inside.
BLOOD & WATER (USA)
Starring: Florence Bell, Kathleen Wise
Director: Emily Iason Flo is a British party-girl who likes late nights in dive bars and one night stands. But everything changes when she falls in love with her college professor, giving her a taste of human connection beyond her fleeting night-time existence. Romantically nostalgic about life after dark, its low lit drunken haze has a simplicity that falling in love does not. As Flo moves away from her past, it’s framed in a way that makes you feel almost sad that she’s leaving it behind for something far more complicated. But for Flo, that connection she has made is more important than all else. TWO GIRLS AGAINST THE RAIN (Cambodia)
Director: Sao Sopheak. In this documentary from Cambodia we hear the story of two women who fell in love and survived the despotic Khmer Rouge regime. Told through interviews juxtaposed with archive footage and observational shots of daily life in their village, this is a fascinating portrait about how one couple’s bravery opened the door for others to come out and follow in their footsteps. Introducing their community to LGBT Rights, they convinced their village to became quiet pioneers for all Queer people in Cambodia. A compelling portrait of unheard micro-history, this is an important personal testimony captured beautifully on film.
ALMOST OBSOLETE (UK)
Starring: Keeley Forsyth, Craig Daniel Adams, Grace Cook
Director: James Cook Chris has split from her girlfriend with whom she has a child. As she grieves for the life she has lost, she visits her gay best friend in Brighton to reconnect with her past and find a spark for the future. A moving story of finding a new beginning, the friendship at its centre is a compelling example of twenty-first century Queer friendship, whose chemistry is palpable. Forsyth is mournfully intense as Chris, whose journey across this brilliant short is enough to inspire hope even in the most hardened cynic. LIT (UK)
Starring: D’Lo, Rinabeth Apostol, Liz Anderson
Director: Elena Oxman Jesse is a player, hooking up with girls in nightclub bathrooms. When she meets Eva, she thinks she is going home with her for a one night stand, but the two end up on a roadtrip around San Francisco forging a connection that Jesse was completely not expecting. In a movie about embracing difference, this is a story of new beginnings and transformation as Jesse softens toward a girl who shows real strength in resolution. An ode to the night time and the first spark of love, you’ll fall in love with this unlikely but entirely relatable pair.