Watching Desert Hearts it’s difficult not to feel a little frustrated. That’s not because of anything in the movie itself. It’s because even 32 year later it still feels so exceptional. A film with a female director and screenwriter – and based on a novel by a woman – is still an unusual thing. A film that’s about the lives of women and not just how they relate to men, is still an unusual thing. A movie that treats lesbian love as a serious thing and isn’t framed by tragedy, is still an unusual thing.
It shouldn’t be that way, but Desert Hearts retains a very special position as one of those incredibly rare movies by women, that doesn’t feel like it’s been co-opted either by the influence of men, or by a need to please the male viewer. [Read more…]