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Guest Post: A Perfect Ending — Lesbian Film, Art House Film or Both?

Women and Hollywood By Nicole Conn | Women and Hollywood February 5, 2013 at 10:00AM

So what is it that makes a movie a lesbian movie?   Does it require lesbians playing the roles of the characters?  Does the director have to be gay? Is there a quota of girl on girl “action” that determines the “gayness” of the film?  If it had been directed by men like the Bound (the former Wachowski Brothers), Lianna (John Sayles), or Personal Best, (Robert Towne), would A Perfect Ending have had a different trajectory?
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A Perfect Ending

So what is it that makes a movie a lesbian movie?   Does it require lesbians playing the roles of the characters?  Does the director have to be gay? Is there a quota of girl on girl “action” that determines the “gayness” of the film?  If it had been directed by men like the Bound (the former Wachowski Brothers), Lianna (John Sayles), or Personal Best, (Robert Towne), would A Perfect Ending have had a different trajectory?

And what’s the point of this question because shouldn’t every movie have a good story, excellent actors, a soaring score and just be a damn good movie?  No filmmaker wants their films to be diminished by any niche, lesbian or otherwise, yet the case is that there are not enough of “this type” of movies. Personally, I think this is the time, more than any other, for movies just to be categorized by the following: good, bad or indifferent.

I’m not kvetching. I’m a lesbian, proud of it, and proud of my company Soul Kiss Films.  I love all our lesbian fans and all the lesbians who donated to help get A Perfect Ending made as an almost entirely crowd-sourced film.

I just want to understand. When Ellen DeGeneres has an empire rivaling Oprah’s, when Jodie Foster can cavalierly add “oh yeah, and I’m gay” in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, and when Rachel Maddow is one of TV’s most respected political journalists, when do our films get to belong? Why have we not have our own Brokeback Mountain?

I was deliriously captivated by A Perfect Ending because I was so certain it would crossover.  I had just finished Elena Undone which holds the record for longest on screen kiss in cinema history, and was feeling very empowered that it’s by two women. I thought to myself, surely A Perfect Ending is an entirely different kind of story so will at least be categorized as an indie/art-house film.

The response was “Maybe in Europe,” from our sales agents said as I tried to convince them that there are so many universal things about this film and a high concept hook that should help us cross the chasm…

Elegant and extremely uptight Rebecca (Barbara Niven) endures an excruciatingly pulseless marriage to irascible Mason (John Heard). She has a daughter from a previous marriage and two sons with Mason and fills her days with meaningless errands and Vodka. How much more universal does it get than family dysfunction, better living through chemistry and ugly secrets?  Rebecca reluctantly shares a secret she’s kept even from her best friends: She has never had an orgasm. One of them comes up with an unorthodox but perfect solution: Rebecca should hire an escort – a female escort: “they are so much more familiar with the manual.”  What ensues is a number of humorous missteps between Rebecca and Paris until they both find themselves drawn to one another and their ever-deepening connection leads them both to face their darkest truth.

In our first test screening 160 people were asked to categorize A Perfect Ending from five choices: LGBT, Indie, Art house, European, Mainstream.   They were also asked to state their sexual identity. 59 people thought the film was LGBT – all 59 were gay.  101 people marked, “indie” “art house” or “European.”  All 101 were straight.  The box:  “everyone should see this film.” All checked yes.

From my perspective, A Perfect Ending is BOTH an Art House film AND a Lesbian film which should be seen and enjoyed by all audiences. While it’s sad that most of the film’s audience will never see this feature in a theater; having a worldwide digital release has enabled the film to reach viewers across the planet and it has “crossed over” in ways that were unimaginable even five years ago when we released Elena Undone.

A Perfect Ending is newly available on DVD and Digital from Wolfe Video. Look for it at fine retailers everywhere including such popular outlets as Amazon, Netflix, iTunes and, of course, WolfeOnDemand.com!

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Novelist and filmmaker Nicole Conn joins Wolfe Video for their sixth movie release together with A Perfect Ending. Conn's previous films released by Wolfe include her legendary lesbian drama, Claire of the Moon, her multi-award winning documentary little man, Moments: The Making of Claire of the Moon, Cynara: Poetry in Motion, and the hugely popular 2010 romance Elena Undone.

This article is related to: A Perfect Ending, Women Directors, Sexuality, Lesbian