Cineffable 2002

Cineffable Lesbian Film Festival Paris
October 31- November 3 2002

Cineffable 2002

At a new location in Pigalle, the Parisian Cineffable Lesbian Film Festival is well- suited to the 800 seat Trianon Theatre, a gothic building with female statues and funky staircases. Despite the town having a gay mayor the 14 year old Cineffable has to scramble for funding as a women only event. Offering mixed screenings during the year, Cineffable puts out a rich program of 69 films from 15 different countries. With over 4,000 members Cineffable prides itself on being the "First Lady of France".

MA and Juliette Dragon at the Cineffable Festival

The festival kicked off with a performance by the French musician MA, a video, sound installation complete with go-go girl Juliette Dragon who twirled ribbons and fire during the two-hour performance. MA did not got off the ground till three quarters of the way through the performance. A generation gap? Some of the younger women in the audiences claimed MA didn't get enough feedback to get her going. Others claimed Dragon took over the stage. All agreed MA is talented, doing her own thing.

Butch Buddy Noir Outlaws and Inlaws

This year the audience award went to By Hook or by Crook, a butch noir buddy film written and directed by Silas Howard starring herself and Harriet Dodge. Cinematographer Ann T Rossetti from the 1994 Sundance Film Festival smash hit GO FISH is at it again with a grainy in your face camera style reminiscent of John Cassavettes. Produced by Steakhaus and Jennie Olsen , producer of PlanetOut Popcorn Q.

By Hook or By Crook: Review

Howard won over feature films Treading Water(USA) and Family Affair (USA) with its indepth look at two working class butches. In A Family Affair, director Helen Lesnick plays Rachel Rosen who after leaving New York City and heartbreaker Reggie meets Christine, a nice California girl who converts to Judaism and wants a family, much to the delight of Rosen's parents, proud members of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. In all respect, is their really a relationship between Reggie and Christine? It seemed pretty much caught up with shopping, matchmaking, gossiping and intrigue.Treading Water on the other tackles the homophobia of a Massachusetts mom who refuses to recognize her daughter's partner. On the wild side, the fourth film in competition was fetish goddess Maria Beatty's Lust of the Seven Deadly Sins series, a study of desire. The bearded female performance artist, circus director and clown Jennifer Miller walked off with two awards for best documentary feature Un Cirque New York and best documentary short Juggling Gender. A popular guest at the festival this year, Miller confronts stereotypes of gender and poses questions about the construction of sexual and gender identity in her films.

Christine in A Family Affair and Treading Water

Interviews with my New Girlfriend by Cassandra Nicolaou from Canada hit the spot for best short where nine women are questioned by an unseen interviewer on a variety of topics, one of which offers her CV and two who are a couple looking for fun. Other pearls of the festival include a documentary portrait of candid thoughts and everyday views on two Chinese lesbians called The Box by He Zi . Dayna McLeod's Watching Lesbian Porn (Canada) has to be one of the most hilarious treatments of adult entertainment to date where the filmmaker does a playful a critique of the female gaze. Here Dana blocks most of the "sexually explicit material" as a censor and debates the construction of images.
Paris was a King is a creative documentary short on up and coming French drag kings. The 50 some members of Cineffable volunteer and all decisions are made collectively. Interesting sidebars this year included debates on sex workers, single lesbians, the Mexican women's movement and the relationship between lesbians and the French government. The 15th Cineffable will take place next year in November around Halloween and hopefully the French government will kick in some funds for the First Lady of France.