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Top 10 Debbie's Top Lesbian Films

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My friend Debbie Caselton, director of the Portland, OR Lesbian & Gay Film Festival picked her top lesbian films from the past few years. Debbie says, "The following films are not in any particular order. Honestly, Monster is probably my absolute favorite out of all of these." Here's Debbie's picks for top lesbian films.

1. Goldfish Memory

Goldfish Memory
Goldfish Memory is a light-hearted look at the dangers and delights of dating. When Clara sees her lover kissing another, it sets off a chain reaction of romances and heart breaks until the entire cycle has turned full circle. Exploring the comical nature of love, straight, gay and in-between Goldfish Memory brings life to the saying what goes around, comes around...and around... and around...

Directed by Elizabeth Gill, Great Britain, 96 min.

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2. Prey for Rock & Roll

Prey for Rock & Roll is based on the autobiographical rock musical about Cheri Lovedog, founder, singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist for the 80’s all-girl rock-and-roll band Lovedog. Gina Gershon fits the role of Cheri to the tee, and even sings the music. You can’t go wrong with this sexy tale of friendship, passion and survival, not to mention the wonderful cast of Drea de Matteo, Lori Petty, Marc Blucas, and Shelly Cole.

Directed by Alex Steyermark, 2003, USA, 100 min.

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3. Laughing Matters

Four unique comedians, Kate Clinton, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Marga Gomez, and Karen Williams, talk about their lives as professional standup comedians, their different backgrounds, identities, ethnicity, and economic status. This documentary about these four out lesbians is a good mixture of interviews, behind the scenes, and their solo performances on stage.

Directed by Andrea Meyerson and Nancy Rosenblum, 2003, USA, 60 min.

4. Tipping the Velvet

The BBC series set in the 1890s follows the story of a young woman, Nan, who becomes confused and unsure of her feelings for her boyfriend, and slowly realizes she is attracted to women. Our young heroine, Nan, becomes a double act, both on and off stage with a popular male impersonator, Kitty.

Directed by Geoffrey Sax, 2002, UK, 144 min.

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5. Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House

Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz became best friends in the 1950’s. They were both conventional housewives, raising children, lived in the same building, and went to the same synagogue. In 1974, they fall in love, leave their husbands and children and have been living together ever since. This documentary follows the funny and passionate couple in their golden years, while they talk of their life together as a couple and as activists.

Directed by Deborah Dickson, 2002, USA, 54 minutes

6. My Mother Likes Women

Three sisters lives are thrown off balance by their mother’s sudden sexual awakening, which she announces on her birthday. Despite their non-conservative upbringing, the sisters are still shocked with their mother’s decision to bring her new female lover into their lives. My Mother Likes Women is a hilarious and sweet film about family and what they really value.

Directed by Ines Paris & Daniela Fejerman, Spain, 96 minutes

7. Laurel Canyon

Recently graduated psychiatrist Sam (Christian Bale) and his fiancée Alex (Kate Beckinsale), move to Los Angeles for Sam’s residency, into Sam’s mother’s house in upscale Laurel Canyon. The problem is, Sam’s mother, Jane (Frances McDormand), is still there and seems more interested in smoking pot, drinking, and flirting with beautiful, turning out not so straight laced, Alex.

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art), USA, 103 min.

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8. Monster

Charlize Theron, won the Oscar in 2003 for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute executed in 2002 in Florida after being convicted of murdering six men. The film accurately portrays the horrific and pathologic lifestyle of Wuornos, but also unearths an unlikely love story between two misfits. Christina Ricci plays Selby Wall, who becomes Wuornos passionate love interest.

Written and Directed by Patty Jenkins, 2003, USA

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9. Watching You

Includes five popular lesbian short films: 4PM (a one-night stand goes horribly wrong); Bare (a one-night stand ignites a whole neighborhood with passion and romance); Interview with My Next Girlfriend (a picky single girl screens future prospects); Watching You (an amateur photographer becomes obsessed with a neighbor); and Dear Emily (Sara recalls an intense schoolgirl crush).

Directed by Sam Backhurst, Deborah Strutt, and Cassandra Nicolau, 2002, 134 min.

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10. Mulholland Drive

In true David Lynch style, Mulholland Dr. is captivating and exotic to the eye. A young actress moves to Hollywood, and becomes involved in a dark conspiracy involving a woman who was almost murdered and now has amnesia. Both women, played by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring, are pulled into a psychotic illusion involving a dangerous blue box, a director named Adam Kesher, and the mysterious nightclub Silencio.

Written and Directed by David Lynch

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